A global poll on religion and atheism has found that 59 percent of the people in the world think of themselves as religious and 13 percent see themselves as convinced atheists. The study also found that poor people claim to be more religious than those that are rich and worldwide the number of people who say they are religious has dropped by 9 percent from 2005 to 2011.
The study results, released by released by WIN-Gallup International, found that people in bottom income groups are 17 percent more religious than those in the top income groups.
The report titled "The Global Index of Religion and Atheism," asked the question: Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would you say you are a religious person, not a religious person or a convinced atheist?
Ghana leads the way among religious people with 96 percent of its respondents saying they think of themselves as religious. Nigeria was second at 93 percent, followed by Armenia and Fiji, which both came in at 92 percent. Macedonia rounded out the top five at 90 percent.
China leads the way among atheist countries by far as 47 percent of the nation’s respondents think of themselves as convinced atheists. Japan was second at 31 percent followed by the Czech Republic at 30 percent. France came in fourth at 29 percent before another significant dropoff found South Korea and Germany tied at 15 percent.
The number of atheists worldwide increased by 3 percent in the same time period that the number who said they were religious dropped off by 9 percent. France and Switzerland led the way among countries that saw the biggest drop in those that see themselves as religious as both countries had decreases of 21 percent between 2005 and 2012.
According to the study, 60 percent of the United States population considers itself to be religious, while 5 percent think of themselves as atheists.