Religiously Unaffiliated in Northern America

The number of people in the world who are religiously unaffiliated make up about 16% of the global population (1.1 billion), according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The 2012 report, “The Global Religious Landscape,” states:

The religiously unaffiliated include atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion in surveys. However, many of the religiously unaffiliated have some religious beliefs. For example, belief in God or a higher power is shared by 7% of Chinese unaffiliated adults, 30% of French unaffiliated adults and 68% of unaffiliated U.S. adults.


About 5.2% of the global religiously unaffiliated reside in Northern America. This region is made up of the U.S. (19.6% of its population being religiously unaffiliated), Canada (23.7%), Bermuda (19.4%), Greenland (2.5%), and St. Pierre and Miquelon (3.8%). The religiously unaffiliated population of the U.S. (51 million in 2010) would be the 26th-largest country of the world, nearly equivalent to the entire population of South Africa.

The map above shows the percentage of each country’s population that is religiously unaffiliated, as well as the total number in the U.S. and Canada. Also, the percent unaffiliated by state (U.S.) and the percent non-religious by province (Canada) are shown. The top states in the U.S. are Alaska, Oregon, New Hampshire, Vermont, Colorado, and Maine. The top provinces in Canada are Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Northwest Territories, and Manitoba.

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