Atheism is on the rise on a global level, international study reveals — the poor are the most religious
On August 8, 2012 At 12:56 pm
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The results of a "Religiosity and Atheism" poll conducted by WIN-Gallup International reveals that from the period 2005-2012, atheism is on the rise (3 percent increase globally) and religion is seeing a decline (9 percent decrease globally). 51,927 people from 57 countries were interviewed. The 57 countries represent more than 73 percent of the world's population.
Those surveyed were asked, "Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would you say you are a religious person, not a religious person or a convinced atheist?"
RedC Opinion Poll's press release noted that "59 percent of the world said that they think of themselves as religious person, 23 percent think of themselves as not religious whereas 13 percent think of themselves as convinced atheists. However, when we compare this to the Irish population, only 47 percent consider themselves religious, placing Ireland low on the index of being religious coming in at position 43 out of 57 countries."
The press release is 25-pages long and includes a wealth of tables and statistics. Some of the highlights include:
- Religiosity is higher among the poor. People in the bottom income groups are 17 percent more religious than those in top income groups, indicating that the better off we are, the less religious we become (page 3).
- The top ten atheist populations, based on the percent of those who said they are "a convinced atheist," are China, Japan, the Czech Republic, France, Korea, Rep (South), Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Iceland, Australia and Ireland (page 4).
- The most religious countries are Ghana, Nigeria, Armenia, Fiji, Macedonia, Romania, Iraq, Kenya, Peru and Brazil (page 4).
- Globally, those claiming to be religious dropped by 9 percent while atheism rose by 3 percent. Comparatively, there was a 22 percent drop among the Irish population claiming to be religious (page 5).
- Since 2008, the top ten countries experiencing a notable decline in religiosity are Vietnam, Ireland, Switzerland, France, South Africa, Iceland, Ecuador, the United States, Canada and Austria (page 6).
Gallup International Association is not related to Gallup Inc., headquartered in Washington DC.