According to the Pew Forum Report Atheists make up a comparable percentage of the population was Judaism. They are twice as numerous as Buddhist, Hindus and Muslims in the US. If you include Agnostics and "Nothing in particular" you have 16.1%.


Obviously that hardly compares with the 78.4% professing to be Christians but still....

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Atheist are not as much a minority as people think. Self declared atheist are a larger percentage than Judaism or Hinduism or Islam in the US.

My understanding is that the 16% figure also includes the "other" category, which would include Wiccans and such. However, on the flip side, although Buddhists are not counted among atheists, many Buddhists do not believe in a God or gods, making them very similar to atheists in some respects.


The other potential problem is that terms like "nonreligious" or "nothing in particular" are sometimes used by people who actually do believe in God or something similar, but are against organized religion, and therefore don't consider themselves Christian or whatnot. Then again, there is a flip side to this one too, which is "Christians" that really haven't thought about it, don't honestly give a crap about religion, and probably are pretty similar to atheists in any realistic measure, but put their little check mark next to Christian just because that's what their family is.


Point being that you should take statistics about religion with a grain of salt.

Of course, all your caveats are true. However, even if you take the statistic for just "atheist" or "agnostic" they still outnumber Buddhist, Muslims and Judaism

Is the Pew report for the population of the entire planet or just the USA? (a link would have been helpful)

I was under the impression that there were far more Atheists than Jews? Based on a pie chart in my World Religions textbook from oh ... 2005 or so ...not the best source I know but a very helpful visual...

...(goes to look it up) ...It was based on stats from Encyclopedia Britannica 1998 

As percentages of the world population (back then) it states Jews 0.2%, Atheists 2.5%, Non-Religious 12.8%, Christians 32.8%, Muslims 19.6%, Hindus 12.8%, Sikhs 0.4%, Buddhists 6.0%, Indigenous 4.2%,

*New* REligious movements (including Ba'hai, JW's, Rasta's, Falun Gong) 1.8%, Chinese religions 6.5%, Others (incl' Jains & Shintoist) 0.36% .... Those stats paint a rather different picture of the world as a whole. Granted the USA is overwhelmingly Xian ... lots of groups - especially Muslims like to claim they are the "fasted growing" I think the numbers tell a different story tho'  ...Ok I just looked up the PEW Forum and their focus is pretty clearly "US-ians" ... which is an important part of the picture but certianly not the whole deal.

Only in the US. Here is the link.


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