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Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020

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Michael W. Chapman
CNS News
July 25, 2013

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.

In its report, Christianity in its Global Context, 1970-2020: Society, Religion, and Mission, researchers analyzed data on church membership and activities from thousands of Christian denominations and other religions worldwide, presenting that data from 1970 and 2010 for a 40-year comparison and, using that information and related demographic data to forecast the world religious makeup in 2020. (See ChristianityinitsGlobalContext(1).pdf)

The numbers show that in 1970 there were 165,500,000  atheists worldwide, about 4.5% of the global population. In 2010, the number of atheists had fallen to 136,582,200 or 2.0% of the population. If trends continue, according to the study, there will be 136,685,000 atheists in 2020, or about 1.8% of the world population.

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This article was posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 5:51 am





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