WIN/Gallup International studies on global atheism and religion

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Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world's population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020.[1] See: Global Christianity

The 2012 WIN/Gallup International Global Index of Religion & Atheism study was rightfully criticized for its methodology and accuracy.[2][3] The study claimed that global atheism was growing in terms of its percentage of adherents.

However, even WIN/Gallup International now agrees that atheism is shrinking in terms of its global percentage of adherents.[4]

The website Science 2.0 reports:

THE WORLD IS TURNING ATHEIST, the media tells us. Europe is already dominated by non-believers and plummeting church attendance figures elsewhere indicate that religion itself could disappear within a generation. Christianity is shrinking fast, extremism has soured Islam, and the fastest growing belief-system is to have no beliefs, which could lead to the world becoming a peaceful, atheist utopia. So says conventional wisdom in some quarters.

Are there figures to back this up? Actually, no. Indeed, a close examination of empirical data about world-views tells a story that is different in almost every way—and especially in regard to humanity’s next chapter.

Atheism as a belief system has peaked and its share of humanity is shrinking, demographic studies indicate. Win/Gallup’s 2012 global poll on religion and atheism put atheists at 13%, while its 2015 poll saw that category fall to 11%. Other figures suggest the changes have deep, broad roots.[5]

On July 24, 2013, CNS News reported:

Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020, according to a new report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass."[6]

For more information, please see:

Global distribution of atheists and the decline of global atheism trend

See also: Atheist population

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia primarily among whites.[7] See: Western atheism and race

The high concentration of atheists in China in terms of its global population and China's rapid growth of Christianity is helping to continue the global decline of atheism. See: Growth of Christianity in China and Growth of global desecularization

An illustration of atheism being not being as widely distributed as Christianity

African Christians clapping at an open-air meeting. In recent years, Christianity has seen a rapid growth in Africa.[8] In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western World Christians as there were Western World Christians.[9] Western World atheists have not engaged in a significant amount of global outreach. See: Global atheism

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists and agnostics (see also: Causes of evolutionary belief).[10] Charles Darwin's evolutionary book The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life has been translated into 35 languages.[11]

In terms of its geographic distribution, Christianity is a more global religion than most, if not all, religions (See also: Global Christianity).[12][13] The Bible has been translated into 518 languages and 2,798 languages have at least some portion of the Bible.[14] In addition, the Christian community is far more evangelistic than the atheist community and Christian missionaries are throughout the world.

Collectively speaking, the Christian community has a much greater degree of linguistic and cultural intelligence than the atheist community. See also: Atheist population and Western atheism and race and Social Darwinism and Evolutionary racism

See also