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I find it reassuring that most of the developed/ educated world is embracing atheism or at least secularism. No idea what's happening in the USA. I have to wonder if it's cos you get to go to university cos you can throw a ball instead of the rest of the world which rewards the best and brightest.

No sign of China which must have the largest atheist population

MsDemeanour 8 Nov 16

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The good news is one doesn't have to be an atheist to embrace secularism. The US has a rich tradition of separation of Church and State, which to the best of my knowledge, is embraced by the majority of Christians. Is abandoning superstitious beliefs altogether more preferable? Absolutely! But you need to learn to pick your battles if you are to solve real problems in a practical world. Frankly, I'm a little tired of hearing about the average "dumb" American. It's condescending and dishonest to pick on the "uneducated" population of America, when there are dumb people living everywhere. The US couldn't have become the only true superpower in the world if its elite were decided by their ability to throw a ball.


There has always been a strong anti-intellectual segment of the population in the United States of America. This has been helped by conservatives who don't like the findings of most scholars.
Repugs (my name for devotees of the republican party because I find them epugnant) almost always cut funding for educstion. They don't want truth but want their fantasies.


I always thought European countries were more likely to be non-religious because in most of the countries at one time there was a state supported religion and that built resentment.

I think America's freedom of choice in religion has helped religion grow.This is not meant to negate the influence of education on religion. I do think though that forced religion creates more atheists than freedom to choose ever will.


I am surprised at Israel 65%, who would have thought.


As some people become more educated they seem to lean towards capitalism slavery to enslave the less educated. Hospitality, empathy, sympathy caring, compassion, standards of true freedom from governmental terrorism, taxation and more inclined to sadomasochism punishment fines, fees court cost capitalism justice systems: these good things are thrown out with increased illogical atheism and more constraints, capitalism slavery, no free brick homes for everyone on Earth built by true masons,, no free medical for anyone that needs it and no free education of college degrees for everyone as illogical atheism rises in these places.

Word Level 8 Nov 16, 2020

I agree. They should allow logical atheism to rise.


UK at 66%?


Recent You Gov poll I saw for religious beliefs in Britain stated 38% 'did not believe in god or a higher spiritual power'.

Sorry - as a UK atheist I'd LOVE to believe the UK was 66% 'non religious or atheist', but I don't.


I'll tell you whats happening in the USA. Its a culture war brewing. The Evangaloon Christians are losing power against the Muslims, Hindu, Jews and Atheists and its a powder keg.

I see it too. There are dogmatic religious mindsets in play and that is not a good thing.

@Mvtt nope its not. And they're getting more aggressive and desperate


Here's the source: []

I'm a bit skeptical of those results. I've lived in two of those countries and would be surprised if they are really as non-religous as claimed here.


I would trust this more: []

Indeed! There's no way Azerbaijan is 54% atheist.


I wonder if sense of community has something to do with it. We tend to think (I think) of America as very urban but large swathes of it are not. Religion fits in very well with sense of community.

Michael Shermer of the Skeptic Society wrote a book "How We Believe" in which he looked at a number of factors matched againt belief and non-belief. I don't recall if he compared rural vs. urban environments (I don't believe he did), but anicdotal evidence would indicate that being nonconformist is more difficult in communities where everyone pretty much knows everyone else. Rural communities would tend to fall into this category more than larger urbans areas would.

I once saw a program about Hutterites which are more populous in Canada than the US (due to certain religious persecutions that occurred in the US early in the 20th century). Hutterites are a branch of Anabaptists which also include the Amish and Mennonites. The program stated that the communities which are communal are kept to be no more than about 300 members. Hutterites practice shunning as a means of keeping members of their community in line. From experience, they found that shunning was most effective when communities are kept below this number. Elsewhere, I read that communities of about 300 is the maximun where everyone has familiarity with everyone else within the community. Above that number, and an individual may begin to have a sense of anonymity. Shunning would not be nearly as effective if the individual being shunned did not have the a sense of connections to those shunning him. Likewise, Americans in smaller communities - such as rural ones - may have more difficulty being different for some of the same reasons.


Could if be that higher education is valued less in the US and is declining? Only half of Americans in 2019 had a positive view of higher education. According to the graphs in the linked article, the decline is driven by the right wing in America which encompasses the majority of evangelicals. Higher education is where critical thinking skills are taught and according to reseach conducted by Michael Shermer, religious belief tends to decrease as greater levels of education are achieved.

True with evangelicals. Is it any wonder why they all come from the poorest parts of the country?


What? No USA.

She did say developed/educated 😉


No mention of Iceland either. I think this list is a bit flawed. I think your hypothesis regarding american education may have some merit. Perhaps that would explain their remarkable failure to act in their own interests in so many areas.

Well let’s be honest, the sports teams bring more money to the universities than the scientist finding a cure for cancer.....


Use Hong Kong as a "lower end" benchmark for China.


Yes, I wondered why China was absent from the list and I am sure that the largest number of atheists reside in China. Over the past decade I have visited China many times and everyone that I spoke with regards religion as bullshit.


Israel is 4th? Wow.


Based upon another recent survey, I believe the US would be around 1/3 non-religiosity as per above. There was also another source posted previously on this site that showed the US under-30 demographic as being close to 50% non-religious.

palex Level 6 Nov 16, 2020

China is not really atheist, they just have a religion with no structured organization.
Also this not religious is misleading. It can be anything from "its been a long time that I don't go to church" to "I am atheist".
I doubt theism is majority in any country.

It does say claiming to be either non religious or atheist. If that claim is a clear assertion it does means something.

Most surveys I've read place theism as a majority in the US. I suspect that would also be true of many south american and third world countries as theism seems to thrive on ignorance.


Many USA polls/surveys find 25% Atheists and more defend separation of state from church ....colleges must recruit equal numbers of women athletes in a rainbow of sports once dominated by boys.... 93% of USA scientists are polled Atheists....while most USA citizens work in small businesses the economy is tainted by McCarthyism and IN gawd WE TRUST LIES on all our money since 1955 and prEying to the flag


Israel is higher than Australia? That's interesting. And I agree with you, and hope this broader trend will be enhanced by the experience of this virus. Too early to tell. Expect more push back from religions who feel more and more threatened.

Also, expect comments here from some complaining about the reference to non religious or atheist, probably complaining that this is too narrow a definition. I like it just fine.

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