Least Religious Countries

Top 10 Countries Where Religion Does Not Prevail

Faith has been a war causing, conflict raising and debate provoking issue throughout the history. The religion one is subject to has a great role to play in defining oneself. As well as inter-religious debates, intra-religious debates can also be quite problematic from time to time. This situation can be quite exhaustive when one takes into account different sects, different interpretations of the same sect or cultural objects which have in time been attributed religious value, such as the blue bead in Turkey, which is actually a shamanistic charm but thought to be an Islamic item by masses.

How important is religion in our lives? Most people would answer that question differently. For some, faith is the first and foremost thing to consider in life, while others have no faith at all. Social generalizations, however, could well fail thanks to varying individualities.

Estimations suggest that the top-5 religions in the world by followers are as follows:

1. Christianity: 2.1 Billion

2. Islam: 1.5 Billion

3. No religion (including agnostics/deists): 1.1 Billion

4. Hinduism: 900 Million

5. Traditional Chinese Religion: 394 Million (Confucianism, Taoism)

If the numbers caught your attention, you might want to look at Amazing Temples of Different Religions. Moreover, don’t forget to have a look at the following country lists based on socio-economic data:

1. Countries with the highest minimum wage

2. The most peaceful countries in the world

3. The poorest countries in the world

4. Countries where religion is not important

5. The most militarized countries in the world

6. Countries with the highest suicide rates

7. Countries with the safest roads

8. Largest countries by population

9. Countries with the lowest crime rates

The significance of religion in human life has varying degrees depending on which direction one looks at. Thanks to research companies we may get clearer estimates on the matter. For instance, Gallup, Inc., USA, which is a performance management and consulting company made a research covering 155 countries. The method is quite simple. The participants of the study are asked if religion has an important place in their lives and the ones who say “no” are counted, thus giving the below results.

10. Finland

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Northern Lights – Finland

A nordic country, Finland is in the 10th place with 69% percent of its population stating that religion is no important for them. Taking the 5,5 million population of the country into account, the percentage makes approximately 4 million people.

9. Japan

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Hokkaido – Japan

In the far country of the far east, Japan, the ratio of the people who do not care so much about religious faith is 71%, which makes almost 90 million people within the countries population, 127 million.

8. Czech Repulic

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Karlovy Vary – Czech Republic

In Czech Republic, one of the most travel-worthy countries with its fairy tale-like cities, 72% of the population believe that religion does not have an important place in their lives. In other words, 8 million people out of 11 million don’t consider religion as important.

7. France

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Paris – France

Quite diverse ethnically, 74% of the French population pay little or no importance to religion. 74% makes approximately 50 million people and the history of this situation dates back to the French Revolution.

6. United Kingdom

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Buckingham Palace – UK

The statistics acquired in the study suggest that 76% of the British population (app. 50 million) don’t think religion should direct their lives. As a matter of fact, the situation in the UK is a little bit strange (was, at least) since until 2008, it was legally forbidden to criticize Christianity. However, that law had last been applied in 1921.

5. Norway

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ooFyord Trollunga – Norway

I feel that there would be uprisings in the Scandinanivan countries if they weren’t included in any sort of “top-10” list. Norway, where 78% of the population has stated that religious plays no significant role in their lives, is in the top-5, as they usually are in lists of economy and freedom. The percentage approximately covers 4 million people.

4. Estonia

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Tallinn – Estonia

Estonia, which is not so assertive in economic development lists, has the 4th last place in the list of the importance of religion in life. In Estonia, 78% of the population don’t think religion is important. When you consider the fact that the population of the country is 1,300,000 only, it is quite interesting to have 1,000,000 people thinking this way.

According to a Christian Estonian friend of mine, this number is the reason why Estonians are unhappy, although I didn’t find this quite objective.

3. China

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Fenghuang, Hunan – China

The rising economy of recent years, China seems to be dominated by those who believe religion is not important for their lives. 82% of the population agrees with this idea and the percentage roughly makes 1 billion 100 million people.

2. Denmark

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Copenhag – Denmark

Vikings, again… In Denmark, where people also insist on being in every single top-10 list, 83% of the population don’t think religion is important. Approximately 4,5 million people, that is.

1. Sweden 

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Mariaklippan, Stockholm – Sweden

Yer another Scandinavian country is in the list… Sweden is again quite pretentious, as it usually is. A large proportion of the population, 88%, don’t lead their lives in the light of religion. Around 8,5 million people…

These are the top-10 “less religious” countries, according to Gallup statistics. As usual, Scandinavian countries dominate the list, but Japan also claims its place. The reasons behind the results are of course the topic of another research.

United States of America, on the other hand, is in approximately the 50th place in the list of countries ranked by “irreligiousness” with a percentage of 36%, which makes around 115 million people.

The countries with 1% or less in terms of irreligiousness are Central African Republic, Indonesia, Comoros, Malawi, Sierra Leone and Yemen.

If you’d like to have a look at some amazing temples belonging to different religions, please click on the link.

References:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligion_by_country

2. http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

15 Comments

  1. 10 May 2014  18:32 by Nitebug Reply

    It's nice to read that these people don't find religion important in their lives but are they Atheist or Agnostic?

    • 10 May 2014  20:19 by ecotripsos Reply

      It's just a mixed group, including atheists, agnostics and even registered christians...

  2. 2 May 2014  01:41 by Elliott Reply

    There was another blasphemy trial in the UK in 1971. The magazine Gay News was prosecuted for a poem suggesting that Jesus was gay.

  3. 30 April 2014  01:57 by Travel Chris Reply

    Would be nice to compare the level of religiousness against the most popular countries in the world as tourist destinations. I wonder if there is a weak, strong or any correlation...

    • 30 April 2014  02:42 by ecotripsos Reply

      Great idea in deed, I'll put it in my to-do list... :)

  4. 29 April 2014  00:46 by Hörður Heimisson Reply

    Unfortunately Iceland is too small to be considered but I'm pretty sure we are the number ONE atheist country. I know no one and have never known a person in Iceland who has regularly gone to church. Un fortunately Iceland is considered a "christian country" so everyone norn here is automatically registered as christian. You have to de-register from the church. Which a very large portion of the counrty has done.

    • 29 April 2014  01:03 by ecotripsos Reply

      In deed, I expected Iceland to be in the top-10, but then I found it wasn't included in the survey. Shame on Gallup, Inc.! :)

    • 29 April 2014  01:07 by Fred Kohn Reply

      I'm very happy to hear that, but whassup with all the people that believe in elves?

      • 29 April 2014  01:57 by Hörður Heimisson Reply

        Ha ha ha... We don't actually believe in Elves. That's just more of a tourist thing. It's a cool thing to tell people that visit.

  5. 28 April 2014  23:15 by Reply

    Do you know what is going on in Mälmo? How many rapes are there in last years from worshippers of pedophile?
    Incredible!

    • 29 April 2014  00:21 by ecotripsos Reply

      Yeah, I know there are 63 rape cases per every 100,000 people in Sweden, which is the highest or second highest rate in the world. But please explain, how does this correlate with the lack of religious people? Or am I wrong to assume that you think they correlate? Would be really great if you shared some statistical data.

      • 29 April 2014  10:19 by Statistically Reply

        Statistics is always a bit tricky. You have to try and see the reason behind the numbers. Sweden have made efforts to get more women to report rapes and Sweden got stricter rape-laws than many other countries.

    • 29 April 2014  00:42 by Balle Reply

      Malmö is the town with the biggest amount of immigrants (muslims) in sweden. Seems like islam is the biggest religion in sweden atm :(

      • 29 April 2014  00:59 by ecotripsos Reply

        Well, statistical data suggest that only 5% of the population in Sweden is Muslim. :) But judging by the fact that 88% don't care about religion, you may be right about the "biggest religion"... :D

    • 29 April 2014  22:15 by DittPucko Reply

      It is also the capital of Skåne that holds the highest population of racists, fascists, backwoods redneck White trash, conservatives and muslim-haters such as the women hating serigedemokraterna. They must be rapists. By your logic.

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