What year do you think atheism will become the majority on the global?

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Coveny's picture
What year do you think atheism will become the majority on the global?

For many years now I've felt like the world is losing its religion quite literally. Polls around the world show a trend of fewer and fewer theists. So much so that in some countries atheism is the majority. However on the global scale theism still dominates atheism. We do see the young are far less likely to be theists, and the numbers of atheists there lend support to my idea that theism is dying. So the question is this at what year do you think atheism will become the majority on the global stage?

I think around the year 2050.

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algebe's picture
If you include all the closet

If you include all the closet atheists, about 10-20 years ago by my estimate. There are lots of people who can't or won't declare themselves to be atheists for family or business reasons, for political reasons, or for fear of their life in many Islamic countries. And I'll bet the organizations with the biggest concentrations of hidden atheists are the churches.

mykcob4's picture
I think the world will end

I think the world will end before atheism becomes anywhere near the majority. Face it, people are just stupid and lazy. they don't want to think. They want to hear the megaphone of every nutcase that fills the media. How do you think FOX got so big?
Now the form of religion will be much different, but it will still be as batshit crazy as it is now!

LogicFTW's picture
I am not sure we will ever

I am not sure we will ever hit an atheist majority, but many of the major religions are in serious decline in terms of activity/influence etc.

Perhaps when technology comes out where people can log and then share their actual thoughts and experiences. When people realize their is no god in anyone's experiences including religious leaders, they may finally enmasse declare they are atheist. If human advancement continues at is rapidly increasing rate, I would say 2050 is a good guess. But it is also very possible the rapid innovation rate we are in may slow down.

Randomhero1982's picture
Whilst non belief is

Whilst non belief is punishable by death in some countries, you'll never rid the world of it.

Fear is a persuasive tool.

Coveny's picture
In the course of 7 years

In the course of 7 years atheism has doubled from 1.6 to 3.1 in the U.S. That's an impressive change.
The article covers some of the other issues with defining athiest and the misuse of the term in general.

On the world scene we see much the same.
The article goes into some of the roadblocks to a wider acceptance of atheism.

Flamenca's picture
Hi, Mark, and welcome.

Hi, Mark, and welcome. American Atheists Association are much more optimistic (they say that according to their studies, there are 26% atheists in USA). And I've read the pewreseach, and 40% of young people are non-believers, and that's a very promising data.

In Spain, the tendency is the same. According to the last Gallup, convinced atheists are 16% (and a 6% of agnostics) and according to the CIS (supposedly independent, but government agency) we are 10% of convinced atheist and 14% of agnostics.

But sadly I may agree with Mykcob4... I think our species most probably will have become extincted before we become a majority in the whole world.

xenoview's picture
I doubt Atheism will be a

I doubt Atheism will be a majority on the planet by 2050. It may take a few hundred years before religion is just a bunch of cults hanging out on the fringe of society.

mykcob4's picture
Religions decline in America.

Religions decline in America. Yes, religion is declining in American and atheism is had a significant uptick recently, but that isn't the whole story. Since atheism only amounts to a very small proportion of the entire population any increase would appear to be a major gain, but in reality, it is a small insignificant shift.
The truth is that major religions are declining even at a great amount. But most of those people that leave let's say catholocism are in fact joining other more independent religious sects. I see a rise in extremist religions. More traditional believers are becoming evangelical. One of my neighbors claimed that he left the episcopal church to become an evangelical. That is alarming as the episcopal church is a steady rock solid foundation of a religion as faiths go.
I don't think the overall shift is toward common sense or atheism. I think the shift is to batshit crazy fanaticism.

xenoview's picture
I think that some of the lose

I think that some of the lose of religious people will be to death. A lot of older people are religious diehards. With the death of religious followers, will not leaded to an increase in Atheist.

algebe's picture
@Xenoview: "A lot of older

@Xenoview: "A lot of older people are religious diehards."

And yet this survey of Anglican priests found that the older they were, the less likely they were to believe in god.

Maybe priests are a special case. They must do a lot of funerals for good people who wouldn't have died if their "merciful" god really existed.

xenoview's picture

I have notice that more older people, people 50+ years old goto church here in Missouri.

Coveny's picture
Oh I tend to agree that the

Oh I tend to agree that the only way for many theists to lose religion is to die. But if the trend of the youth being MUCH less likely to theists continues 30 or 40 years of that makes a huge difference in the numbers as theists die off and are replaced with atheists.

Pitar's picture
Outwardly, who knows? But,

Outwardly, who knows? But, inwardly I'd wager it dwells in most people who are fighting it off. The human animal simply does not believe anything without revelation. Our 5 senses must award acceptance. Nothing less will suffice and imagination is something all humanity knows will not reveal truth. Imagination is where theism was born, lives and dwells as a testy state as people assuage themselves with its bribery of hope. Outside the imagination there is no destiny, no purpose and certainly no eternal reward for death other than nothingness. Ask people to accept that as their end game and see how long it takes for them to embrace it. 2050? I'm gonna shoot for another 3-500 years. Too many of them will not read the truth, though it exists as a simple read these days, that unravels the biblical claims on veracity. They will call that devil work and pacify themselves with their belief system memes instead and completely ignore the archeological record. You cannot defeat that kind of stupidity.

However, you can legislate a global mandate, for the sake of global peace and security, that brings the archeological record and the biblical story on a pace with each other as a subject of study from the earliest grades through middle school. This will no doubt reduce the disastrous effects of indoctrination of young people and work to rid the world of religious-based crime.


People are entertaining when they get self-righteous.

chimp3's picture
What year? The way things are

What year? The way things are going I would estimate 5,000,000 C.E.

mbrownec's picture
Never. Humanity, as a whole,

Never. Humanity, as a whole, needs a crutch because the vast majority of people need a "Get Out of Jail" card to avoid responsibility and accountability for their life choices and actions.

algebe's picture
I think the estimates given

I think the estimates given here are way too pessimistic. When the threats and stigma attached to atheism are removed, hidden atheists will come pouring out into the sunshine in their millions.

chimp3's picture
Sorry Algebe , Millions won't

Sorry Algebe , Millions won't make a majority.

algebe's picture
It's not an election. All

It's not an election. All that's needed is a critical mass.

chimp3's picture
Wiki lists atheist population

Wiki lists atheist population as the third largest if combined as secular/nonreligious/atheist/agnostic.


Coveny's picture
Algebe - Exactly my thinking.

Algebe - Exactly my thinking. As it loses the stigma that theists have attached to it, 100's of millions will drop the facade.

algebe's picture


Would you also agree that the stigma is shifting from atheism to theism? Islam is associated with misgovernment, misogyny, tyranny, sectarian conflict, and terrorism, while the Christian churches are gaining a reputation as havens for pedophiles and money-grubbing hucksters. I also think Christian churches in America have deeply harmed their cause by allying themselves with Trump.

teppeki's picture
Seems impossible. Even if all

Seems impossible. Even if all current form of faith have vanished something will sprung up in its place.

Coveny's picture


Not yet, but give it 10 or 20 years. One religion has always smeared the others, so this isn't something "new". I will say that I find less and less theists willing to stand on the side of theism having the higher moral ground in debates in the last few years. I get asked much less frequently "How can you have morals if you don't believe in god." in my opinion. So the foundation is getting chipped away, but the public relations department of theists is still amazing in that they convince people if anything bad happens it's their fault, and if anything good happens it's gods, even going so far as to convince them that even if a lot of bad things happen to them they should still be thankful it wasn't worse. It's just like an abusive relationship, but it's being done to millions of people...

Coveny's picture
I believe it will happen, as

I believe it will happen, as atheism is in it's infancy, and the more globalized the world becomes the less it's possible to isolate and indoctrinate children before they hear about and experience opposing viewpoints.

MCDennis's picture
next year

next year

Closet_atheist's picture
Almost never...

Almost never...

Yes a bit pessimistic but I have to agree with most of Mykcob4's words, except of course those concerning his liberal views. If he would just lay his liberal agenda aside I think we would get along famously.

LogicForTW makes a good point about technology. The internet has made the world a smaller place and made education easier to find and obtain.

Yet heaven is too convenient...

I've encountered numerous people who have lost loved ones. Kids without parents, wives without husbands, parents who lost children, and so on. And all of them cope, by copping out to some so called "God's plan". (As if it even makes sense) I do understand it gives their loss purpose, their sadness is not for nothing. Also heaven doesn't seem so far away, they can talk and pray to them as if they were nearby. And dream they will see them again in the end.

Everybody wants to be Happy, many are not and some may never be but they hope, have faith, their lives will be Happy someday.

Faith often always turns into religion...

But hey maybe when the millennials grow older and become the dictators of society it'll happen, but then again the models will probably be covered in tattoos, which will bring me great sadness.

Whocares386's picture
I think it may take a few

I think it may take a few hundreds to destroy religions completely. Because we have internet and that's why it'll speed up enormously. But still there is another problem and this is irregular population increase.



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Cognostic's picture
Atheism is growing at the

Atheism is growing at the same rate Christianity or Mormonism or most religions have grown 4.3% per year. That's 43% per decade. At that rate we will be a majority in 10 years and take over the world in 20. There will still be people clinging to their religions so I thing 2050 is a good estimate. We are at 6% now but the upcoming generation below the age of 25 have been estimated at 25%. Things are changing. Empty pew syndrome is hitting the Bible Belt hard but I expect the pendulum to swing back and forth a bit as the change occurs. (Statistics are from Bart Ehrman and the early growth of Christianity.)


Grinseed's picture
Never. We'd need a global

Never. We'd need a global revolution in education first. The majority of the world live in poverty and ignorance and the only thing they can value is hope, inane and insane as relgion offers. Truth has little value when you live in fear poverty and hunger.

SeniorCitizen007's picture
There was probably a higher

There was probably a higher percentage of atheists in England in the late 14th century than there is today. The Peasant's revolt in 1381 was led by people who openly ridiculed religion. During the Thirty Years War in Northern Europe in the 16th century (which caused, so some say, the deaths of half the population) a commentator stated that atheism was common amongst the peasantry (Martin Luther said: "These people should be killed wherever they can be found" ... he was talking about irreligious peasants). There was mass extermination of those who opposed the religions. Thomas Arundel, who was Archbishop of Canterbury during Henry IV's reign, was a fanatic who was responsible for introducing "Religious terrorism" (burning at the stake for heresy, etc) into England. Prior to him people had for several decades been pretty much able to say whatever they wanted about religion. Think of Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales' .


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