Which Religion Has the Most Followers?

Worldwide, the Christian religion leads as the religion with most followers: 32 percent of the global population belongs to a Christian sect, which breaks down into 2.2 billion followers. Christians, like followers of other religions, identify themselves generally as Christians, or belong to sects of that religion. Christians live in all areas of the world, but the largest segments live in Europe — 26 percent — Latin America and the Caribbean at 24 percent and southern Africa, which also contains 24 percent of the worldwide Christian population.

Christianity ranks as the most populous religion, but Islam and its branches comes in right behind. Approximately 23 percent of the world's population, or 1.6 billion people, identify as Muslims. Like Christians, Muslims live around the world. Most, however, reside in southern Asia, which houses 62 percent of the worldwide Muslim population. Other large Muslim populations exist in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa; these regions contain 20 and 16 percent, respectively. The next largest religion is Hinduism: approximately 15 percent of the world's population identifies as Hindu. Unlike Christians and Muslims, however, most Hindus, at 99 percent, according to the Pew Research Center, live exclusively in the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia-Pacific countries also serve as home to 99 percent of the global Buddhist population and 90 percent of people practicing folk religions.