What Will Be the Global Population in 2050 by Religious Groups?

Society | World | April 18, 2016
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Excel Sheet

According to recent research, the growth of religious populations worldwide is projected to be 23 times larger than the growth of the unreligious between 2010 and 2050.

The report Changing religion, changing economies, which draws on a 2015 global study published in Demographic Research and its connected Pew Research Center report, has profound implications for the global economy.

Today, seven of the G8 nations have Christian-majority populations. But by 2050 only one of the leading economies is projected to have a majority Christian population – the United States.

Below are the main takeaways of global religious and economic change presented by Brian Grim, President, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation:

The growth of the global Christian population is projected to be about the same rate as overall global population growth between 2010-2050. The largest share of the world’s Christians is expected to be in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2050.

The number of Muslims in the world is expected to nearly double between 2010 and 2050 and Muslims are expected to lead the world in population growth compared with other religious groups. 

The growth of the global religiously unaffiliated population is slowing at a much faster rate than global population growth. Over half of the entire world’s unaffiliated people will live in China in 2050.

The number of Hindus in the world is expected to grow by 400 million people between 2010 and 2050, but is projected to remain about the same share of the world’s population in the decades ahead.

The number of Buddhists in the world is expected to remain at nearly 500 million between 2010 and 2050, but is projected to decrease as a share of the world’s population.

The growth of the global Jewish population is slowing more quickly than the world overall; however, the number of Jews is still anticipated to be about two million more in 2050 than in 2010 (increasing from about 14 million in 2010 to slightly more than 16 million worldwide in 2050).