Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay describes the demography of the nonbelieving population: atheists and agnostics (negative atheists). It describes the size, age structure, and characteristics, such as gender, marital status, and educational levels, of both atheists and agnostics in various countries around the world. There are approximately 450 to 500 million nonbelievers worldwide, including both positive and negative atheists, or roughly 7 per cent of the global population. Nonbelievers are typically young, disproportionately male, and educated, and are most likely to live in Northern Europe, Japan, and communist or formerly communist nations. Atheism varies greatly around the globe from as little as 2 per cent in Venezuela to 10 per cent in Ireland, 21 per cent in Spain, 41 per cent in France and as high as 55 per cent in the Czech Republic. The essay discusses the likelihood of increases in the nonbelieving population with shifts in emerging large economies, specifically India and China.

Keywords: atheists, agnostics, nonbelievers, demography, global, population, age, gender, education, marital status

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.