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Estimates of the worldwide Buddhist population range from 550 million to about 1.

2 billion, but cluster nearer to the first


[8][9][10][11][12]
[13]
figure.
Adherents.com (as of 2012) suggests a figure of 397 million.

Methodology

Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are one, a painting in the litang style portraying three men laughing by a river stream, 12th century, Song Dynasty.

Estimating the number of Buddhists in the world, or in many countries, is difficult due to definitional issues as well as practical problems of
enumeration. To begin with, the religious beliefs, practices, and identities of East Asians (who comprise the majority of the world's Buddhists by
any measure) often blend Buddhism with other traditions including Confucianism, the Chinese folk religion, Daoism, Shinto, and Korean
shamanism.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20]
Most followers of Buddhism do not belong to structured congregations, or observe a definite ritual of adherence such as taking Refuge, making it
difficult to accurately estimate the number of practitioners. An additional challenge is the hostility of several national governments
(often Communist ones such as China, North Korea, and Vietnam) to religion generally or to Buddhism specifically. Government policies in these
countries may encourage the under-reporting or non-reporting of religious adherence, resulting in official totals that may drastically underestimate
the number of religious practitioners in these countries.[7][21][22]
By major branches, the numbers are as follows:

(1) Mahayana Buddhism, including East Asian Buddhism, with no fewer than practicing 500 million adherents (who have registered to
state-sponsored Buddhist institutions), and possibly several times that many (again, depending on definitional issues). This is the
predominant form of Buddhism practiced in China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Vietnam.

[23]

(2) Theravada Buddhism, with no fewer than 125 million adherents. This is the predominant form of Buddhism practiced in Cambodia,
Thailand, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Burma.
(3) Vajrayana Buddhism, with approximately 20 million adherents. This form predominates in the
greater Tibetan and Mongolian regions, as well as in the Himalayas. Besides the independent countries of Mongolia and Bhutan, and
various territories within what is now western China, Vajrayana is traditional to certain regions of Russia (e.g. Kalmykia, Buryatia), India
(e.g. Ladakh,Sikkim), and Nepal (e.g. Khumbu). Vajrayana, also known as Tantric Buddhism, is often conflated with Tibetan Buddhism,
but this is imprecise, as Shingon and other forms of East Asian Buddhism also practice vajrayana.
At least 7 countries (Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Bhutan, and Mongolia) have unambiguous Buddhist
majorities. Depending on how one calculates Chinese and other East Asian adherents, this figure might expand to include
several more countries. In addition, Buddhism is the state religion of Cambodia and Bhutan, and receives prominent mention in
the constitutions of Thailand and Sri Lanka.
In northern India and Nepal, the land where Buddhism was born, the religion severely declined during the first millennium.
Whether this decline was due to the Islamic conquest of northern India, or to other factors, remains controversial. See the
article Decline of Buddhism in India.

Ethnic

Chinese[24]

Buddhism with local traditional religions

Mahayana Buddhism with Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese folk religion[25][26][27]

[24]

[28][29][30]

Japanese

Mahayana Buddhism with Shinto

Korean[24]

Mahayana Buddhism with Confucianism, and Korean shamanism

Vietnamese[24]

Mahayana Buddhism with Confucianism, Taoism,

Mongolian

Vajrayana Buddhism with Tengrism, and Mongolian shamanism

Nepali

Vajrayana Buddhism with Hinduism

[35][36]

[31][32][33][34]

[37]

and Dao Mau

[38]

[39]

Jewish Buddhist Buddhism with Judaism

By Country[edit

source | editbeta]
Buddhism by Country

Country/Territory

Afghanistan

American Samoa

Argentina

Aruba

Australia

Population (July
2013)[40]

% Buddhist

31,108,077

54,719

42,610,981

109,153

22,262,501

Buddhist total

N/A

N/A

0.3%[41] - 0.7%[42]

0.1%[41][43]

42,611

0.1%[41] - 0.3%[44]

2.5%[45]

109 - 327

556,563

Austria

8,221,646

0.1%

[41]

8,222 - 16,444

Bahrain

1,281,332

0.2%[47] - 2.5%[41]

2,563 - 32,033

163,654,860

0.5%[41] - 0.7%[48]

818,274 - 1,145,584

Bangladesh

[46]

164 - 383

- 0.2%

Buddhism by Country

Country/Territory

Population (July
[40]
2013)

% Buddhist

[49]

288,725

unknown

Belarus

9,625,888

unknown

Belgium

10,444,268

Barbados

[51]

0.3%[41][52] - 1%[53]

Buddhist total

[50]

50

unknown

31,332 - 104,443

334,297

0.5%[41][54]

69,467

0.5%[41] - 0.7% [55]

347 - 486

Bhutan

725,296

75%[41][56] - 84%[57]

543,972 - 609,249

Bolivia

10,461,053

unknown[58][59]

Bosnia and Herzegovina

3,875,723

N/A

Botswana

2,127,825

unknown[60]

Belize

Bermuda

Brazil

Brunei

201,009,622

415,717

0.130%[61] - 0.5%[62]

8.6%[41] - 13%[63] - 16.8%[64]

1,671

unknown

N/A

unknown

261,313 - 1,005,048

35,752 - 54,043 - 69,840

6,981,642

unknown[65]

unknown

Burkina Faso

17,812,961

unknown[66]

unknown

Burma (Myanmar)

55,167,330

80%[41] - 90%[67][68]

Bulgaria

44,133,864 - 49,650,597

Buddhism by Country

Country/Territory

Population (July
[40]
2013)

% Buddhist

Cameroon

20,549,221

Canada

34,568,211

1.1%[72] - 3.5%[73]

Chile

17,216,945

0.1%[41][74][75]

Christmas Island

Colombia

Costa Rica

Cote d'Ivoire

Croatia

Cuba

Curaao

Cyprus

Czech Republic

1,349,585,838

1,513

- 97%

[41][70]

15,205,539

China

93%

[69]

Cambodia

[71]

unknown

20%[41][76] - 50%[77][78]

36%[79] - 55%[80] - 75%[81]

Buddhist total

14,141,151 - 14,749,373

unknown

380,250 - 1,209,887

17,217

269,917,168 - 674,792,919

545 - 832 - 1135

45,745,783

0.02%[82][83][84]

4,695,942

2.2%[85]

22,400,835

0.01%[86][87]

2,240

4,475,611

0.03%[41][88]

1,343

11,394,043

0.04%[89] - 0.2%[90]

146,836

0.5%[91]

1,155,403

0.2%[41] - 0.6%[92]

10,162,921

0.1%[41][93] - 0.3%[94][95]

9,149

103,311

4,558 - 22,788

734

2,311 - 6,932

10,163 30,489

Buddhism by Country

Country/Territory

Democratic Republic of the


Congo

Denmark

Dominica

Population (July
[40]
2013)

75,507,308

5,556,452

73,286

% Buddhist

[96]

unknown

0.2%

[41]

- 0.5%

0.1%

[97][98]

[41][99]

Buddhist total

unknown

11,113 - 27,782

73

10,219,630

0.1%[41][100][101]

1,172,390

0.1%[102] - 0.4%[103]

15,439,429

0.1%[41][104][105]

15,439

El Salvador

6,108,590

0.1%[41][106][107]

6,108

Estonia

1,266,375

0.1%[41][108][109]

1,266

Dominican Republic

East Timor

Ecuador

Falkland Islands (Islas


Malvinas)

Federated States of
Micronesia

Fiji

3,140

0.2%[41][110]

1,172 - 4,690

106,104

0.4%[41] - 0.7%[111]

896,758

0.2%[112][113]

1,794

5,266

Finland

5,266,114

0.1%[41][114][115]

France

65,951,611

1.2%[116][53][117] - 1.5%[118]

French Guiana

10,220

239,450

3.6%[119]

424 - 743

791,419 - 1,002,464

8,620

Buddhism by Country

Country/Territory

French Polynesia

Population (July
[40]
2013)

277,293

% Buddhist

0.5%

Buddhist total

[120][121]

[122]

[116]

Germany

81,147,265

0.35%

Ghana

22,931,299

0.01%[123][124][125][126]

2,293

Greece

10,772,967

0.1%[41][127][128]

10,773

Guam

160,378

- 1.1%

20,922

1.1%[41] - 2.2%[129] - 3%[130]

284,015 - 892,620

1,764 3,528 4,811

Guatemala

14,373,472

0.1%[131][132][133]

14,372

Guinea

11,176,026

0.01%[134][135]

1,118

Guyana

739,903

0.5%[136][137]

3,700

Honduras

8,448,465

0.1%[41][138]

8,448

Hong Kong

7,182,724

15%[41][139] - 90%[140][141]

Hungary

9,939,470

0.1%[41][142][143]

Iceland

India

Indonesia

315,281

1,220,800,359

251,160,124

0.2% [144] - 0.4%[41]

0.8%[145] - 3%[116][146]

0.72%[41][147] - 1.7%[148]

1,077,409 - 6,464,452

9,939

631 - 1,261

9,766,403 36,624,011

1,808,353 - 4,269,722

Buddhism by Country

Country/Territory

Iran

Population (July
[40]
2013)

% Buddhist

72,212,000

Buddhist total

N/A

[41][149]

Ireland

4,775,982

Israel

7,707,042

0.3%[41][150][151]

23,121

Italy

61,482,297

0.2%[41][152][153]

122,965

2,909,714

0.1%[154][155] - 0.3%[156]

2,910 - 8,729

127,253,075

36%[41][157] - 70%[158] 96%[116][159]

45,811,107 - 89,077,153 122,162,952

Jamaica

Japan

0.2%

N/A

9,552

6,482,081

0.4%[41]

25,928

Kazakhstan

17,736,896

0.2%[41][160]

35,474

Kenya

44,037,656

0.01%[41][161][162]

4,404

North Korea

24,720,407

1.5%[41] - 4.5%[163] 13.8%[164][165]

South Korea

48,955,203

23%[41][166] - 50%[167][168]

Jordan

2.8%

[41]

- 3.8%

[169]

Kuwait

2,695,316

Kyrgyzstan

5,548,042

0.35%[170] - 0.5% [171]

Laos

6,695,166

67%[41][172][173]

370,806 - 1,112,418 - 3,411,416

11,259,697 - 24,477,602

75,469 - 102,422

19,418 - 27,740

4,485,761

Buddhism by Country

Country/Territory

Population (July
[40]
2013)

% Buddhist

[41][174][175]

Latvia

2,178,443

Lebanon

4,131,583

0.1%[176] - 2.1%[177][178]

Lesotho

1,936,181

unknown[179]

unknown

Liberia

3,989,703

unknown[180]

unknown

Libya

6,002,347

0.3%[41][181]

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

0.01%

Buddhist total

Luxembourg

514,862

Macau

583,003

4,132 - 86,763

18,007

0.3%[182]

37,009

3,515,858

2,178

111

unknown[41][183][184]

unknown

unknown[185]

unknown

17%

[41][186]

- 50%
80%[188]

[187]

99,111 - 291,502 - 466,402

2,087,171

unknown[189]

unknown

Madagascar

22,599,098

0.1% [190][191]

22,599

Malawi

16,777,547

unknown[192][193]

Malaysia

29,628,392

18%[41][194] - 21%[195]

Maldives

393,988

Macedonia

0.6%[41][196]

unknown

5,333,111 - 6,221,962

2,364

Buddhism by Country

Country/Territory

Mali

Malta

Mauritius

Mexico

Mongolia

Population (July
[40]
2013)

15,968,882

411,277

% Buddhist

[197]

unknown

[198][199]

unknown

unknown

unknown

1,322,238 0.4% [200] - 1.5%[201] - 2%[202]

116,220,947

3,226,516

Buddhist total

0.016%[203][204]

53%[205] - 72%[206] 93%[38][207]

5,289 - 19,834 - 26,445

18,595

1,710,053 - 2,323,092 - 3,000,660

653,474

unknown[208]

unknown

Morocco

32,649,130

unknown[209]

unknown

Namibia

2,182,852

unknown[210]

unknown

Montenegro

Nauru

Nepal

Netherlands

New Caledonia

9,434

1.1%[41] - 8%[211] - 11.9%[212]

30,430,267

9%[213] - 11%[41][214][215]

16,805,037

0.1%[216] - 0.2%[41] 1.2%[53][217]

264,022

0.6%[41][218]

New Zealand

4,365,113

1.5%[41][219] - 2.5%[220] 5%[221]

Nicaragua

5,788,531

0.1%[41][222]

104 755 1,123

2,738,724 - 3,347,329

17,000 - 33,610 201,660

1,584

65,477 - 109,128 - 218,256

5,789

Buddhism by Country

Country/Territory

Nigeria

Northern Mariana Islands

Population (July
[40]
2013)

174,507,539

51,170

% Buddhist

Buddhist total

[223][224]

unknown

10.6%

[41]

- 15.6%

[225]

Norway

4,722,701

0.7%[41][226] - 1%[53]

Oman

3,154,134

0.8%[41][227]

Pakistan

Palau

193,238,868

21,108

unknown

5,424 - 7,983

33,059 - 47,227

25,233

unknown[228]

1,492[229]

0.8%[41] - 1%[230]

169 - 211

unknown

Palestine

4,293,313

unknown[231]

Panama

3,559,408

0.5%[232] - 0.9%[233] 2.1%[234]

6,431,902

0.2%[235] - 0.3%[236]

6,623,252

0.2%[237][238]

29,849,303

0.2%[41] - 0.3%[239][240]

105,720,644

0.1%[41][241]

105,721

Poland

38,383,809

0.1%[41][242][243]

38,384

Portugal

10,799,270

0.6% - 0.8%[41][244]

Papua New Guinea

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

17,797 - 32,035 - 74,748

12,864 - 19,296

13,257

59,699 - 89,548

64,796 - 86,394

Buddhism by Country

Country/Territory

Population (July
[40]
2013)

Puerto Rico

3,674,209

Qatar

2,042,444

% Buddhist

0.1%

1.9%

[246]

[245]

Buddhist total

- 0.3%

- 3.1%

[41]

[41]

- 6%

3,674 - 11,023

[247]

38,806 - 63,316 - 122,547

0.2%[41][248]

1,679

21,790,479

0.01%[249][250]

2,179

142,500,482

0.7%[251] - 1.05%[252] 1.4%[253]

Saudi Arabia

26,939,583

0.3%[41][254]

Senegal

12,521,851

unknown[256][257]

unknown

Serbia

10,150,265

unknown[258][259]

unknown

Runion

839,500

Romania

Russia

Seychelles

90,846

0.1%[260][261]

1,000,000 1,500,000
2,000,000

70,000[255] - 80,819

91

Sierra Leone

5,612,685

unknown[262][263]

Singapore

5,460,302

33%[264] - 44%[265] - 51%[266]

Slovakia

5,488,339

0.1%

[267][268]

5,488

Slovenia

1,992,690

unknown[269]

unknown

Solomon Islands

597,248

0.3%[41][270]

unknown

1,801,900 - 2,402,533 - 2,784,754

1,792

Buddhism by Country

Country/Territory

Population (July
[40]
2013)

% Buddhist

[41]

48,601,098

Spain

47,370,542

Sri Lanka

21,675,648

Suriname

566,846

Swaziland

1,403,362

unknown[276]

Sweden

9,119,423

0.4%[41][277] - 1%[53]

Switzerland

7,996,026

0.3%[278] - 0.4%[41] - 1%[53]

0.1%

[41][271]

- 0.3%

[271]

South Africa

Taiwan

0.2%

Buddhist total

- 0.4% - 0.7%

70%[273][274]

0.6%[41] - 0.9%[275]

23,299,716 35%[279] 80%[280] 93%[281]

97,202 - 145,803

[272]

47,370 - 200,000 - 300,000

15,172,954

3,401 5,102

unknown

36,478 - 91,194

23,988 - 31,984 - 79,960

8,154,901 - 18,639,773 21,668,736

Tajikistan

7,910,041

unknown[282]

unknown

Tanzania

48,261,942

unknown[283]

unknown

Thailand

67,448,120

93%[284] - 95%[285]

Togo

Tonga

Trinidad and Tobago

7,154,237

106,322

1,225,225

[286][287]

unknown

0.1%[288]

0.3%[41] - 0.7%[289]

62,726,752 - 64,075,714

unknown

106

3,676 - 8,577

Buddhism by Country

Country/Territory

Turkey

Turkmenistan

Tuvalu

Population (July
[40]
2013)

80,694,485

5,113,040

10,698

% Buddhist

[290]

unknown

Buddhist total

unknown

N/A

N/A

0.1%[291]

11

Uganda

34,758,809

unknown[292][293]

Ukraine

44,573,205

0.1%[41][294]

5,473,972

2%[41][295] - 4%[296]

109,479 - 218,959

63,395,574

0.4%[41][297] - 1.2%[116][53]

253,582 - 760,747

316,668,567

0.7%[298] - 1.3%[41][299] 2%[300]

2,216,680 - 4,116,691 - 6,333,371

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

United States

Uruguay

US Virgin Islands

Uzbekistan

unknown

44,573

3,324,460

0.1%[301][302]

3,324

104,737

unknown[303]

unknown

28,661,637

0.1%[304] - 0.2%[305] 0.3%[306]

28,662 57,323 85,985

261,565

0.2%[307] - 0.3%[308]

523 - 785

Venezuela

28,459,085

0.1%[309] - 0.2%[310]

28,459 - 56,918

Vietnam

92,477,857

10%[311] - 55%[312] - 75%[313]

Vanuatu

9,247,786 - 46,238,929 69,358,393

Buddhism by Country

Population (July
[40]
2013)

Country/Territory

% Buddhist

Zambia

14,222,233

Zimbabwe

13,182,908

TOTAL

[314]

unknown

0.01%

90

[315][316][317]

7.13%[318] - 16.15%

7,095,217,980

Top 20 countries[edit

Buddhist total

1,318

506,079,682 1,146,042,210[116][319][320]

source | editbeta]

Top 20 by practicing Buddhists on the left (lowest numbers) and by cultural/nominal adherents whom are strongly
influenced by Buddhist practices with folk religions on the right (highest numbers) as of 2013.

Top 20 Buddhist countries/territories (by population)

Top 20 (lowest)

Rank

Country

Top 20 (highest)

Practicing Buddhists

Country

Cultural Buddhists

China

269,917,168

China

674,792,919

Thailand

62,726,752

Japan

122,162,952

Japan

45,811,107

Vietnam

69,358,393

Burma/Myanmar

44,133,864

Thailand

64,075,714

Sri Lanka

15,172,954

Burma/Myanmar

49,650,597

Cambodia

14,141,151

India

36,624,011

South Korea

11,259,697

South Korea

24,477,602

India

9,766,403

Taiwan

21,668,736

Vietnam

9,247,786

Sri Lanka

15,172,954

10

Taiwan

8,154,901

Cambodia

14,749,373

11

Malaysia

5,333,111

Hong Kong

6,464,452

2,738,724

United States

6,333,371

12

Nepal

13

United States

2,216,680

Malaysia

6,221,962

14

Indonesia

1,808,353

Laos

4,485,761

15

Singapore

1,801,900

Indonesia

4,269,722

16

Mongolia

1,710,053

North Korea

3,411,416

17

Hong Kong

1,077,409

18

Russia

1,000,000

Mongolia

3,000,660

19

Bangladesh

818,274

Singapore

2,784,754

20

France

791,419

Russia

2,000,000

Nepal

3,347,329

Top 20 Buddhist countries/territories (by percentage)

Top 20 (lowest)

Rank

Country

Top 20 (highest)

% Practicing Buddhists

Country

% Cultural Buddhists

Cambodia

93%

Cambodia

97%

Thailand

93%

Japan

96%

Burma/Myanmar

80%

Thailand

95%

Bhutan

75%

Taiwan

93%

Sri Lanka

70%

Mongolia

93%

Laos

67%

Burma/Myanmar

90%

Mongolia

53%

Hong Kong

90%

Japan

36%

Bhutan

84%

Christmas Island

36%

Macau

80%

10

Taiwan

35%

Vietnam

75%

11

Singapore

33%

Christmas Island

75%

12

South Korea

23%

Sri Lanka

70%

13

China

20%

Laos

67%

14

Malaysia

18%

Singapore

51%

15

Macau

17%

China

50%

16

Hong Kong

15%

South Korea

50%

17

Northern Mariana Islands

18

Vietnam

19

20

Nepal

Brunei

10.6%

Malaysia

21%

10%

Brunei

16.8%

9%

Northern Mariana Islands

15.6%

North Korea

13.8%

8.6%

Remarks: Lower numbers/percentages are practicing adherents, or who those who have taken the Refuge. Higher
numbers/percentages represent nominal or cultural Buddhists and practitioners of Buddhism alongside related faiths such as
Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, etc., as well as those who subscribe to Buddhism and its philosophies but stop short of any
ceremonial or formal practice. Note that communist governments in China, North Korea, and Vietnam officially discourage
religion, and lower estimates reflect those who have registered to state-sponsored Buddhist institutions.