A Gallup-Win survey found 39% of people were atheist and nonreligious in the world and 59% were religious. There was a 9% drop in the self-declared religious from the 2005 to the 2012 poll.
The trend would indicate that self declared religious would drop to about 50% in 2020. The trend from 2005 to 2012: Religiosity drops by 9%, while atheism rises by 3%. Most of the shift is not drifting from their faith, but claiming to be ‘not religious’ while remaining within the faith. Just repeating the 2005 to 2012 drop from 2012 to 2019 would get Religosity to 50%, so even a slowing of the trend would easily get to a global minority of religious people by 2025.
– Global not religious will be 55% by 2025
– Global Athiest/Agnostic will be 20+% by 2025
– Global Athiest/Agnistic will be the number one category by 2040 with 35+%
This is based upon the continuation 9% religosity drop over 7 years.
The continued drop in religosity is based upon the far lower religosity of youth versus the oldest people.
It is also based upon the global trend to increased education and per capita wealth.
Shifts in demographics, per capita wealth and education are driving the shift to ‘not religious’
Additional demographic breakdowns indicate that if everyone were financially over $50,000 per capita PPP GDP and had college education then religiosity would be a minority of the global population. The survey trends indicate that the shift to ‘not religious’ is happening faster.
* Younger people are less religious. The shift in age groups over 12 years should shift to ‘not religious’ by about 10% for the overall population. People in the oldest group are far more religious than the youngest group, so as the old people die, they are being replaced with less religious youth.
* There is increasing global GDP PPP per capita. By 2025, there will be 4.2 billion in the global middle class and wealthier people are statistically less religious.
Urban high income (over $70,000 PPP per household) will also be impacted. This will increase from below 20 million households in 2010 to over 60 million in 2025 in the Emerging 440 cities. China will account for 19% of the new urban high income households.
The WIN-Gallup International ‘Religiosity and Atheism Index’ which measures global self-perceptions on beliefs is based on interviews with more than 50,000 men and women selected from 57 countries across the globe in five continents. The survey also provides trend data for shifts in attitudes since 2005.
Religosity is higher among the poor: People in bottom income groups are 17% more religious than those in top income groups. (49% of highest fifth quintile group versus 66% of the bottom quintile)
Religosity is lower among college educated: College educated are 16% less religious than those without secondary education.
Growth of Unaffiliated in the USA and the USA Age breakdown from Pew study
This is the age breakdown for the US from the Pew study. Different ages for each country are of course different The main point is that the oldest people who are far more religious get replaced by far less religious young people.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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