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Rise and fall: how the numbers that make the global religious matrix will stack up

Hindus are expected to continue accounting for about 15 per cent of the global population over the coming decades till 2050, but will not remain the largest religious community in the Asia-Pacific region, says a new report by the US-based Pew Research Center.

The data in the report, >'The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050', point to a mix of stabilty and churn. Here are the numbers that make up the changing religious matrix.

How the numbers will change - Hindus and Muslims in the Asia-Pacific region

Muslims will emerge as the largest religious community in the Asia-Pacific region by 2050. Hindus now make up the largest religious group in the region, being the majority community in both in India and Nepal , and have a significant presence in countries like Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Malaysia.

Even as the percentage of the Muslim population in the region is expected to increase from 24 in 2010 to nearly 30 in 2050, the percentage of the Hindu population will grow at a slower pace, from 25 to nearly 28.

> World Hindu Population by Region, 2010 and 2050

> World Muslim Population by Region, 2010 and 2050

Hindus will become the third largest religious group in the world

Hindus now make up the fourth largest global religious group in the world. They will become the third largest religious community in the world mid-century, displacing the group those who have no religious affiliation from the third to the fourth position.

> Size and Projected Growth of Major Religious Groups

Outside the Asia Pacific region, the United States will harbour the fifth largest Hindu population by 2050 and Canada, the tenth largest, spurred by a growth rate of 160 per cent, said to be the highest for Hindus among all regions in the world.

> 10 Countries With the Largest Hindu Populations, 2010 and 2050

India will be first among the countries having the larger share of Muslims

And India will account for the largest global share of the Muslim population by 2050, and Indonesia which now has the largest share will move to the third place.

Also, among 10 countries with the largest Muslim populations, India and Nigeria will witness a significant increase in the Muslim share of the overall population.

> 10 Countries With the Largest Muslim Populations, 2010 and 2050

Christians and Muslims will have nearly an equal share of the global population

Globally, Muslims are now the second-largest global religious group after Christians, but given the present population growth rates and other demographic changes, the population of both the communities will be nearly equal by 2050.

The distribution of Christians across the world will change by mid-century, sub-Saharan Africa will harbour about 38 percent of the global Christian population as opposed to 24 per cent in 2010. The share of Europe will decline from 26 to 16 per cent during this period.



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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 6:13:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/blogs/blog-datadelve/article7070605.ece

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