Pew: Majority identify with a religion

Dec. 18, 2012 at 11:44 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- More than eight in 10 people worldwide identify with a religious group, a Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life report indicated.

The report, released Tuesday, estimated there are 5.8 billion religiously affiliated adults and children worldwide, representing 84 percent of the 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.

The center said its analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers found there are 2.2 billion Christians, 1.6 billion Muslims, 1 billion Hindus, nearly 500 million Buddhists and 14 million Jews worldwide as of 2010.

The report said more than 400 million people practice folk or traditional religions, while an estimated 58 million people belong to other religions, such as the Baha'i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism.

The Pew survey found about one in six people around the globe -- about 1.1 billion -- have no religious affiliation, making it the third-largest religious group worldwide, following Christians and Muslims.

Pew said its analysis found many of the people who said they weren't affiliated with a particular faith hold some religious or spiritual beliefs.

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