Atheists are quick to congratulate themselves for their intellectual achievement of joining the worlds fastest growing ideology — the one that has simply cut through thousands of years of religious trends, and is now on its way to conquering the world, as the entire world undergoes a global shift towards skepticism and secularism…
Or is it?
In this world, you have two types of atheists: One that claims religion and Christianity is a dying tradition (which we saw was a statistically false claim here), and one that claims their own movement is not only growing, but is on a ways to literally inheriting the world. We shall now examine the following topics in defined order;
- Is the non-religious population growing?
- Will the non-religious simply die off?
Let us begin.
1. Is the non-religious population growing?
The answer is, at the very moment, frighteningly slowly, however this growth will be, in the next few decades, ensued by a simple eventual death of the non-religious.
The truth is, in 2010, there are about 1,100,000,000 people adhering to no religion. According to Pew Research — this will increase by about 100,000,000 from 2010 to 2050, and the global population adhering to non-religion will have around 1,200,000,000 followers.
Now, why is this laughable?
This is because although 100,000,000 seems like a big number, that’s almost nothing. Pew Research also predicts that between 2010 and 2050, the global population will overall increase by more than 2,000,000,000 (or 2 billion) people. This means that although the non-religious currently make up about 16.4% of the world population, or about 1 in 6 people in the world, their growth will only account for 1 in 20 of the growth of the worlds population. This is considerably less than the growth Islam and Christianity will undergo — both Islam and Christianity are projected to grow extraordinarily faster than the non-religious global population, both religions may each get about a billion more followers each by the year 2050. In fact, here’s another fact to account for. The non-religious are currently the third biggest group in the world. The biggest group is Christianity, with perhaps 2,300,000,000 followers right now, the second biggest group is Islam, with about 1,700,000,000 followers, and then come the non-religious with 1,100,000,000 today. However, even though they make up the third biggest group today, they will make up the fourth biggest group by 2050. Why?
The Hindu religion currently has around 1,000,000,000 (or a billion) followers, and that will increase to 1,400,000,000 followers by 2050 — or a growth of about 400,000,000 people, which means that Hinduism, that Indian thing very little of us in the West think about, is growing 4 times faster than the non-religious population, and yet, is still is growing very slow in comparison to Islam or Christianity.
This means that on the global level, the non-religious fad will get even more irrelevant. The fact is, atheists tend to cherry pick Western countries where this group is growing, like Australia or the United Kingdom or Canada, ignoring the rest of the world, where it is overall dying. That leads us to the following…
2. Will the non-religious simply die off?
Eventually, in all probability the answer is yes.
We’ve already discussed that although the people practicing no religion (non-religious) are only going to account for 1/20 of the growth of the population, even though it makes up 1/6 of the world population. That means, statistically speaking, it will have its share of the global population decline significantly. In fact, although these people account for 16.4% of the world population today, that will only be 13.2% of the world population in 2050. They will make up just over 1 in 8 people by 2050. After 2050, it simply gets worse. By the year 2100, this percentage will drop to around 9% of the global population, or about 1 in 11 people.
In other words, from now until the end of the century, the non-religious will go from making up 16.4% of the world population and about 1 in 6 people, to around 9% of the world population and about 1 in 11 people. This significant decline is frightening for the non-religious, but something that I take delight in.
Now, we’ve already gone over how the global non-religious will increase by 100,000,000 or so by 2050. But what about after 2050? This is where it gets juicier. After 2050, their numbers will start declining, as Christianity and Islam both undergo continuous major growth. Why are they going to begin declining? Very simple, babies. The non-religious have an extremely low fertility rate, and thus they do not reproduce enough in order to grow — they reproduce so little their numbers will disappear. Let’s examine the baby and fertility rate department of the non-religious, and how it will contribute to the death of the non-religious.
Today, in the world, the second biggest non-religious country on Earth is Japan — which means that only one country in the world (China) has more non-religious than Japan does. Japan’s population is currently about 126,000,000, and about 57% of these people adhere to no religion. This means that Japan contributes 72,000,000 to the non-religious population. Now, Japan also just so happens to have one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, with the country clocking in at 1.41 children per women (you need about 2.1 to maintain a stable population, not growing or shrinking). The fertility rate of Japan is so low, that by the year 2100, the population of Japan will shockingly decline from 126,000,000 to a diminished 83,000,000 (according to a major released study in 2050 by the United Nations Population Division). So, assuming that the non-religious population of Japan grows all the way to 75% of the Japanese population by 2100 from 57% now (which is gracious to say the least), there will only be around 62,000,000 Japanese without any religion — a decline of about 10,0000,000 adherents to the global non-religious population. Now that we’ve seen Japan, let’s take a look at the biggest shareholder in no religion, China. Out of the 1,100,000,000 people without any religion in the world, more than half of them (700,000,000) live in China). Unfortunately for the non-religious, China also has an extraordinarily low fertility rate, with each women having about 1.56 children on average. China’s population is currently around 1,400,000,000 right now, and will be around the same by 2050, but between 2050-2100, the same United Nations study we referenced a second ago estimates that the Chinese population will decline by hundreds of millions, to about 1,000,000,000 people, meaning that the population will decline by about 400,000,000 people. Now, because about half of the Chinese population has no religion (52.2%), and that number is not expected to increase at all (rather decrease slightly), we will assume about half of the lost people of China by 2050 (200 million) will be directly declining from the non-religious sector of the population — meaning that China alone will result in a global decline of the non-religious population of 200 million people. That is insanely high in relation to the overall number of non-religious people that will even exist by 2050. Europe is the third biggest holder of the non-religious, and just as you guessed, the fertility rate in Europe is also… Very low (at about 1.6 kids per women). From today to 2100, the European population, even accounting for immigration, will have its population decline by 100,000,000 people.
In other words, it cannot be estimated by exactly how much, but the non-religious will very likely have less people then they do today by the year 2100. The world population will overall increase by as much as four billion, and yet the non-religious will only decline. Once people in the West finally stop joining its delusional forces (which has already happened in the United Kingdom), its death will become even more imminent.
In conclusion, Atheism is simply dying. Tell your friends who deny this otherwise.