There are roughly 2.38 billion Christians,1.91 billion Muslims, and 1.16 billion Hindus in the world. But a growing number of people identify as non-religious and atheist. In other words, they don’t affiliate with any specific religion, though their range of beliefs is still quite wide.
It’s interesting to see that 85% of the world still does identify with some organized religious group.
Defining non-religious and atheist people
Of course, religion is complicated. You may identify as a Christian but believe the person sitting next to you in a Church pew is not. However, what matters is how they identify, not whether they act according to a religion’s belief system.
People often associate religion with someone’s morals. But it’s not true that non-religious and atheist people don’t have a set of morals and virtues they abide by. Those “rules” or guidelines simply don’t come from a single, organized religion. And non-religious people and atheists may not even have much in common.
Non-religious people may be agnostic or spiritual. In other words, they may believe in the eternal or an afterlife, but not a deity that controls it). Atheists are a diverse group, though they tend to be defined as those who do not believe any kind of god exists. However, there are generally two types of atheists – those who reject the idea that gods exist and those who aren’t as explicit in their rejection of deities but still don’t believe in any.
While there are famous atheists who have tried to define the word to the world and construct a system of thinking around the world. But atheists are free to reject these words and still call themselves atheists.
Atheists in the world
The number of atheists has always been difficult to measure. Some have posited that the number of atheists is declining because the birth rates in religious countries have gone up. But that implies that those children will not someday identify as atheists (at least on a survey when asked privately!). Others have suggested that there are far more non-religious and atheists in the world who still identify as religious out of social pressure. And since many people incorrectly associate atheism with anti-religious beliefs or fringe beliefs (like Satanism), they may be reluctant to identify as such.
The countries with the most “convinced atheists” (at least in a 2012 survey) were China, Japan, the Czech Republic, France, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Iceland, and Australia (10%). — WTF fun facts
Source: “Religion by Country 2023” — World Population Review