Census Results Show India Has Fewer Atheists Than Rhode Island July 28, 2016

Census Results Show India Has Fewer Atheists Than Rhode Island

According to 2011 census data released yesterday (because lots of data means lots of lag time), the entire subcontinent of India has only 33,304 atheists.

That boils down to 0.0027% of the population. If that seems remarkably low… you’re right. By my count, there are literally more atheists in Rhode Island than in all of India.*

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The number is also low compared to other surveys that looked at India before:

The findings may be an anticlimax of sorts for the non-believers, particularly after the 2012 Global Religiosity Index estimated that 3% of Indians didn’t believe in God. That count appears to be way off the mark.

The likely culprits include the fact that it’s *really* hard to get accurate information in large parts of the country, and there’s an intense stigma against the “A” word. About 2.9 million people said they were Nones (to use a U.S. word); who knows how many of them rightfully belong in the atheist camp.

If there’s a takeaway here, it’s that there’s a lot more work to be done in a country where religion reigns supreme.

*Rhode Island has a population of 1.055 million people. 4% of the population are atheists.

(Image via Shutterstock)


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