Hinduism third largest religion of world: Pew research

Hindu goddess

Hinduism is the third largest religion of the world after Christianity and Islam and 97 per cent of all Hindus live in three Hindu-majority countries ¿ India, Nepal and Mauritius, according to a study.

India, which accounts for majority of world's Hindus, is also home to almost all the major religions of the world, a Pew research said Tuesday.

Pew demographic study ¿ based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers ¿ finds 2.2 billion Christians (32 per cent of the world's population), 1.6 billion Muslims (23 per cent), 1 billion Hindus (15 per cent), nearly 500 million Buddhists (seven per cent) and 14 million Jews (0.2 per cent) around the world as of 2010.

In addition, more than 400 million people (six per cent) practice various folk or traditional religions, including African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions and Australian aboriginal religions.

An estimated 58 million people ¿ slightly less than one per cent of the global population ¿ belong to other religions, including the Baha'i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism, to mention just a few, it said.

Pew said overwhelmingly, Hindus and Christians tend to live in countries where they are in the majority.

Ninety seven per cent of all Hindus live in the world's three Hindu-majority countries (India, Mauritius and Nepal), and nearly nine-in-ten Christians (87 per cent) are found in the world's 157 Christian majority countries.

The median age of two major groups ¿ Muslims (23 years) and Hindus (26) ¿ is younger than the median age of the world¿s overall population (28), it said adding that all the other groups are older than the global median.

Christians have a median age of 30, followed by members of other religions (32), adherents of folk or traditional religions (33), the religiously unaffiliated (34) and Buddhists (34).

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