Is the total Christian population of the world increasing each year? Where can I find the official statistics? How about population by country? Is there any statistic that shows the increase/decrease of Christian population of all the countries in the world?


1 Answer 1


To answer your first question, yes, the total Christian population is growing, by about 1.5% per year. This number comes from one of several excellent studies of Christian populations, a 2013 report published by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. (full report)

This particular study focuses on the growth rate of Christian populations, and provides details by country, so it's particularly suitable for the questions you pose. It compares the number of Christians in 1970 to the number of Christians in 2010 and the projected number in 2020, and provides rates of growth, for each country. For example, here's a table showing countries with the most Christians:

Countires with the most Christians, 1970 to 2020

And here's the growth data for Central African nations (similar tables are available for other groups of nations):

Christianity in Middle Africa

It also provides some growth data by faith tradition and continent:

Evangelicals, 1970 to 2020

There are other excellent reports out there, which focus on different things. The 2011 report published by the Pew Research Center (full report) focuses less on the growth rate but has some helpful graphics showing the shifts in global Christianity. For example, a comparison of regional distribution between 1910 and 2010:

Regional distribution, 1910 vs. 2010

And a map of Christianity by country in 2010:

2010, by country and territory

Note that this is only a small sampling of the data available in these two reports; the full versions go into a lot of detail about individual countries and faith traditions.

  • Thorough research, but IMHO no analysis. Most of the data in the Gordon-Conwell is outside my knowledge, but I knew the UK is barely 50% Christian. Gordon-Conwell says UK will go from 88.6% (1970) to 70.6% (2020). Contrary: Pew quotes 2011 census a 59% and 2012 survey as 46%. Unless Gordon-Conwell believes Christian belief will bounce strongly, these figures are overly optimistic and may reflect Seminary bias. Aus/NZ figures also overly optimistic. Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 20:24
  • @DickHarfield I suspect it's largely a matter of methodology. Unfortunately the Pew report doesn't tell us much about growth rates, which is why I focused on the GC data. There may be better growth rate data out there, but I didn't find any. Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 20:31
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    No problem. This is the type of question that is almost impossible to answer, so you did as well as anyone could have. My only point is that at our level, we should examine sources for potential bias or error and at least qualify our answers accordingly. Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 20:42

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