Pew study finds that as a share of global population, the "nones" will decline
The number of Americans and Europeans who are irreligious or don’t belong to a church has been growing for years. But their ranks as a share of global population will fall by 2050, according to a study from Pew Research:
… Of the 10 countries with the largest unaffiliated populations in the world as of 2010, all are expected to decline as a share of the world’s population by 2050. This list includes the United States and nine countries in Asia or Europe, areas with lower fertility rates and older populations than other parts of the world (including Africa and the Middle East).
Read the last part of the
sentence again. According to the study, the religiously un-affiliated or “nones” are less likely to have children and more likely to be older:
But isn’t the West becoming more secular as it gets wealthier? Maybe so, but the trend does not hold up in many other parts of the world, according to Big Think, a news and information site.
China also represents an interesting case study since it does not keep reliable data on religious affiliation, though many believe Christianity is on the rise in the communist country. If that does prove true, the ratio of "nones" could decrease even more by 2050.