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

Michael W. Chapman
CNS News [1]
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 [2], 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 [3])

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.

Full article here [1]