India just got around to releasing the results from its 2011 census, one that included a “non-faith” category for the first time ever, and we can attach a number to the group:
India has 2.87 million people who have no faith in any religion… The figure includes atheists, rationalists as well as those not interested in any religion but believe in some ‘unknown’ force.
Don’t get your hopes up too high. That number amounts to a mere 0.24% of the country’s population. If you counted the percentage of explicit atheists, it would be even lower. Though keep in mind there were undoubtedly people who felt pressured into saying they were religious for reasons of tradition, safety, or apathy.
Also worth noting:
A majority of people (1,643,640) who ticked the non-faith category live in rural areas as compared to those in urban areas (1,223,663). More males (1,463,712) than females (1,403,591) said that they did not believe in any faith.
Those numbers still pale in comparison to Hindus (960 million) and Muslims (170 million). But we can only go up from here, right?
Anyone interested can check out the raw data here.
(Image via Shutterstock)