Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

The Changing Global Religious Landscape


This report was produced by Pew Research Center as part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, which analyzes religious change and its impact on societies around the world. Funding for the Global Religious Futures project comes from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation.

This report is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of the following individuals.

Primary Researchers

Conrad Hackett, Associate Director of Research and Senior Demographer Marcin Stonawski, Project Leader, Religion-Education-Demography Project, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); Researcher, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo

Additional Key Researchers on Initial Projections

Michaela Potančoková, Research Scholar, Joint Research Centre, European Commission; Research Scholar, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Vegard Skirbekk, Professor, Columbia Aging Center, Columbia University; Senior Researcher, Norwegian Institute of Public Health Phillip Connor, Research Associate

Research Team

Alan Cooperman, Director of Religion Research Stephanie Kramer, Research Associate David McClendon, Research Associate Anne Fengyan Shi, Research Associate Jessica Martinez, Senior Researcher Juan Carlos Esparza Ochoa, Data Manager

Editorial and Graphic Design

Michael Lipka, Senior Editor Aleksandra Sandstrom, Copy Editor Diana Yoo, Art Director Bill Webster, Information Graphics Designer

Communications and Web Publishing

Stacy Rosenberg, Digital Project Manager Travis Mitchell, Digital Producer Anna Schiller, Communications Manager Stefan S. Cornibert, Communications Manager

Others at Pew Research Center who gave valuable feedback on this report include Vice President James Bell, Associate Director of Research Gregory A. Smith and Senior Writer/Editor David Masci.

We also received very helpful advice and feedback on our initial religious population projections report (“The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050,” which was released in 2015) from Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute; Roger Finke, Director of the Association of Religion Data Archives and Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies, The Pennsylvania State University; Carl Haub, Demographer Emeritus, Population Reference Bureau; Todd Johnson, Associate Professor of Global Christianity and Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary; Ariela Keysar, Research Professor and Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, Trinity College; Chaeyoon Lim, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Arland Thornton, Professor of Sociology and Research Professor in the Population Studies Center and Survey Research Center, University of Michigan; Jenny Trinitapoli, Associate Professor of Sociology, The University of Chicago; David Voas, Professor of Social Science and Head of Department, University College London; Robert Wuthnow, Andlinger Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University; and Fenggang Yang, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society, Purdue University.

A number of former Pew Research Center staff members played critical roles in producing our initial population projections including Luis Lugo, director of religion research; former Associate Director of Editorial Sandra Stencel; former Senior Researcher Brian J. Grim; visiting Senior Research Fellow Mehtab Karim; and former Research Analyst Noble Kuriakose. Additionally, Guy Abel, professor at the School of Sociology and Political Science at Shanghai University, helped construct the country-level migration flow data used in the projections.

While the data collection and projection methodology were guided by our consultants and advisers, Pew Research Center is solely responsible for the interpretation and reporting of the data.

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