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Religious populations grow faster than atheist ones across the world

Despite an increase in the overall number of atheists worldwide, new research reveals that the population of religious people is growing at a faster pace than that of their secular counterparts.


Lifeway Research has identified “7 Encouraging Trends of Global Christianity in 2022” based on data collected by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at the Massachusetts-based Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Specifically, the data titled the 2022 Status of Global Christianity report, demonstrates that “religious faith is growing faster than the irreligious.” 

The 2022 Status of Global Christianity report includes statistics about Christianity from 1900, 1970, 2000 and mid-2022 and features projections for 2025 and 2050. The data found that the population of “religionists,” those who subscribe to a particular religion, grew at a rate of 1.27% between 2000 and 2022. By contrast, the number of atheists only grew at a rate of 0.18% in the same time period. 

While the number of atheists in the world has increased from approximately 141.5 million in 2000 to about 147 million now, the number of atheists remains below the record high of 165,156,000 measured in 1970. The number of atheists is predicted to decrease to approximately 143 million by 2050. The number of religionists increased from about 5.3 billion in 2000 to roughly 7 billion now and is projected to approach 9 billion by 2050. 


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