Is religion getting less popular?

RYJW7Y Christianity, Islam, Judaism 3 monotheistic religions. Jewish Star, Cross and Crescent : Interreligious symbols in the sand.
Godong / Alamy Stock Photo

Contrary to popular belief, religion is getting more popular. People who identify with a religious group currently make up 84% of the world’s population. That’s expected to grow to 87.5% by 2060. At this point, you might tell me that it feels like life is getting less religious and I would agree with you but I’m afraid this is the effect echo chambers can have.

In North America and West Europe, people have indeed become less religious. But it’s growing everywhere else. Much of this is determined by the share of births and deaths across the globe. Aging populations with low fertility such as the UK and Japan will see an increase in the number of religiously unaffiliated people. Whereas religious families tend to have high birth rates

At the moment, religiously unaffiliated people make up 17% of the global population but only about 10% of the world’s newborns between 2010 and 2015 were born to religiously unaffiliated mothers. This number is estimated to continue to fall while Christians and Muslims together currently make up 64% of all births. This is expected to rise to 71% by 2060. This is the biggest reason why the world is getting more religious, not less.

But nobody markets to the whole world treating every region the same. That’s why we’ve put together the below infographic to help you understand how the religious makeup looks when it’s been broken down. And once you’re done, we’ve got a religion-centric lightbox for you to explore and use so that you can make better connections with your audience.

The world population by religion

Infographic showing the number of religious people around the world and how that will change from 2015 to 2060

If you’re looking for religion-centric imagery, give yourself a head start and check out our hand-picked Religion lightbox.

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