Buddhist Countries 2022

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Buddhism is one of the largest religions in the world. It originated in India and is based around the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama, also known as Gautama Buddha or simply Buddha, who lived in India from roughly 563 BCE to 480 BCE. Those who practice Buddhism—known as Buddhists—believe in reincarnation. They believe that death is not the end, but instead, a person is reborn after they pass. Buddhists believe that finding enlightenment, or Nirvana, is the key to stopping the cycle of rebirth. Buddhism is a global religion, with practitioners all over the world, but is predominantly centered in East and Southeast Asia.

Buddhism can play different roles in the lives of different people. For some, Buddhism is a religion. For others, it is a philosophy. Still others practice Buddhism as a mental discipline through which they find themselves and experience inner peace. A 2019 article by the Pew Research Center cited published work that confirmed that many Asians may follow Buddhist customs and practices, but not consider themselves followers of Buddhism as a religion. It is estimated that as many as 506 million people around the world practice Buddhism as a religion, which would represent roughly 6.6% of the world’s total population.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Percentage of Buddhists (Pew Research 2020):

  1. Cambodia — 96.80%
  2. Thailand — 92.60%
  3. Myanmar — 79.80%
  4. Bhutan — 74.70%
  5. Sri Lanka — 68.60%
  6. Laos — 64.00%
  7. Mongolia — 54.50%
  8. Japan — 33.20%
  9. Singapore — 32.30%
  10. South Korea — 21.90%

The first seven nations listed above have a Buddhist population that makes up at least 55% of the total population, making them Buddhist majority countries. Other countries with a significant percentage of Buddhists include Taiwan (Republic of China), Malaysia, China, Macau (China), Vietnam, Hong Kong (China), Northern Mariana Islands, and Nepal. Also, percentages can be misleading, as several additional nations have massive Buddhist populations that simply aren't in the majority. For example, China is home to an estimated 254 million Buddhists—roughly half of the total Buddhists in the world. This makes Buddhism the most popular religion in China by a wide margin. Yet, because more than 51% of China's residents remain unaffiliated with any religion, China is generally not considered a Buddhist country. The list below illustrates this point.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Number of Buddhists (Pew Research 2020):

  1. China — 254,700,000
  2. Thailand — 66,120,000
  3. Myanmar — 41,440,000
  4. Japan — 41,380,000
  5. Cambodia — 15,690,000
  6. Vietnam — 15,560,000
  7. Sri Lanka — 15,440,000
  8. South Korea — 10,950,000
  9. India — 10,140,000
  10. Malaysia — 5,220,000

Buddhist Countries 2022

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Buddhist Countries 2022

* All data including totals are 2020 estimates. Populations under 10,000 are listed as 9,999 and percentages under 0.10% are listed as 0.09%.
Country Number of Buddhists Buddhists % 2022 Population
Cambodia15,690,00096.80%17,168,639
Thailand66,120,00092.60%70,078,203
Myanmar41,440,00079.80%55,227,143
Bhutan620,00074.70%787,941
Sri Lanka15,440,00068.60%21,575,842
Laos4,630,00064.00%7,481,023
Mongolia1,730,00054.40%3,378,078
Japan41,380,00033.20%125,584,838
Singapore1,890,00032.20%5,943,546
South Korea10,950,00021.90%51,329,899
Taiwan4,930,00021.20%23,888,595
China254,700,00018.30%1,448,471,400
Macau100,00017.30%667,490
Vietnam15,560,00016.20%98,953,541
Malaysia5,220,00015.70%33,181,072
Hong Kong1,000,00013.30%7,604,299
Northern Mariana Islands9,99910.60%58,269
Nepal3,540,00010.00%30,225,582
Brunei40,0008.60%445,431
Kuwait180,0005.40%4,380,326
Qatar90,0003.80%2,979,915
Bahrain50,0003.10%1,783,983
Australia720,0002.90%26,068,792
United Arab Emirates210,0002.40%10,081,785
New Zealand90,0001.90%4,898,203
North Korea380,0001.50%25,990,679
United States4,170,0001.20%334,805,269
Guam9,9991.10%171,519
Nauru9,9991.10%10,903
Canada370,0001.00%38,388,419
Norway40,0000.80%5,511,370
Palau9,9990.80%18,233
India10,140,0000.70%1,406,631,776
Indonesia1,800,0000.70%279,134,505
Oman20,0000.70%5,323,993
Suriname9,9990.70%596,831
Bangladesh1,040,0000.60%167,885,689
United Kingdom380,0000.60%68,497,907
Sweden60,0000.60%10,218,971
Switzerland50,0000.60%8,773,637
Maldives9,9990.60%540,985
Iceland9,9990.60%345,393
New Caledonia9,9990.60%290,915
France310,0000.50%65,584,518
Belize9,9990.50%412,190
Curacao9,9990.50%165,529
Bermuda9,9990.50%61,939
Sint Maarten9,9990.50%43,966
Saudi Arabia130,0000.40%35,844,909
Jordan30,0000.40%10,300,869
Denmark20,0000.40%5,834,950
Mauritius9,9990.40%1,274,727
Cyprus9,9990.40%1,223,387
Micronesia9,9990.40%117,489
Germany230,0000.30%83,883,596
Kazakhstan60,0000.30%19,205,043
Netherlands50,0000.30%17,211,447
Belgium40,0000.30%11,668,278
Austria20,0000.30%9,066,710
Israel20,0000.30%8,922,892
Libya20,0000.30%7,040,745
Puerto Rico10,0000.30%2,829,812
Trinidad And Tobago9,9990.30%1,406,585
Solomon Islands9,9990.30%721,159
French Guiana9,9990.30%314,169
American Samoa9,9990.30%55,030
South Africa90,0000.20%60,756,135
Italy150,0000.20%60,262,770
Peru50,0000.20%33,684,208
Czech Republic20,0000.20%10,736,784
Portugal20,0000.20%10,140,570
Lebanon9,9990.20%6,684,849
Ireland10,0000.20%5,020,199
Panama9,9990.20%4,446,964
Reunion9,9990.20%908,061
Falkland Islands9,9990.20%3,539
Brazil250,0000.10%215,353,593
Russia170,0000.10%145,805,947
Honduras10,0000.10%10,221,247
Finland9,9990.10%5,554,960
Slovakia9,9990.10%5,460,193
Aruba9,9990.10%107,609
Dominica9,9990.10%72,344
Pakistan20,0000.09%229,488,994
Nigeria20,0000.09%216,746,934
Mexico10,0000.09%131,562,772
Ethiopia9,9990.09%120,812,698
Philippines100,0000.09%112,508,994
Egypt9,9990.09%106,156,692
DR Congo9,9990.09%95,240,792
Iran9,9990.09%86,022,837
Turkey40,0000.09%85,561,976
Tanzania9,9990.09%63,298,550
Kenya9,9990.09%56,215,221
Colombia9,9990.09%51,512,762
Uganda9,9990.09%48,432,863
Spain20,0000.09%46,719,142
Argentina20,0000.09%46,010,234
Sudan9,9990.09%45,992,020
Algeria9,9990.09%45,350,148
Ukraine20,0000.09%43,192,122
Iraq9,9990.09%42,164,965
Afghanistan9,9990.09%40,754,388
Morocco9,9990.09%37,772,756
Poland9,9990.09%37,739,785
Angola9,9990.09%35,027,343
Uzbekistan10,0000.09%34,382,084
Mozambique9,9990.09%33,089,461
Ghana9,9990.09%32,395,450
Yemen9,9990.09%31,154,867
Venezuela9,9990.09%29,266,991
Madagascar9,9990.09%29,178,077
Cameroon9,9990.09%27,911,548
Ivory Coast10,0000.09%27,742,298
Niger9,9990.09%26,083,660
Burkina Faso9,9990.09%22,102,838
Mali9,9990.09%21,473,764
Malawi9,9990.09%20,180,839
Zambia9,9990.09%19,470,234
Syria9,9990.09%19,364,809
Chile10,0000.09%19,250,195
Romania9,9990.09%19,031,335
Guatemala9,9990.09%18,584,039
Ecuador9,9990.09%18,113,361
Senegal9,9990.09%17,653,671
Chad9,9990.09%17,413,580
Somalia9,9990.09%16,841,795
Zimbabwe9,9990.09%15,331,428
Guinea10,0000.09%13,865,691
Rwanda9,9990.09%13,600,464
Benin9,9990.09%12,784,726
Burundi9,9990.09%12,624,840
Tunisia9,9990.09%12,046,656
Bolivia9,9990.09%11,992,656
Haiti9,9990.09%11,680,283
South Sudan9,9990.09%11,618,511
Cuba9,9990.09%11,305,652
Dominican Republic9,9990.09%11,056,370
Greece9,9990.09%10,316,637
Azerbaijan9,9990.09%10,300,205
Tajikistan9,9990.09%9,957,464
Hungary9,9990.09%9,606,259
Belarus9,9990.09%9,432,800
Papua New Guinea9,9990.09%9,292,169
Togo9,9990.09%8,680,837
Serbia9,9990.09%8,653,016
Sierra Leone9,9990.09%8,306,436
Paraguay9,9990.09%7,305,843
Bulgaria9,9990.09%6,844,597
Nicaragua9,9990.09%6,779,100
Kyrgyzstan9,9990.09%6,728,271
El Salvador9,9990.09%6,550,389
Turkmenistan9,9990.09%6,201,943
Republic of the Congo9,9990.09%5,797,805
Palestine9,9990.09%5,345,541
Liberia9,9990.09%5,305,117
Costa Rica9,9990.09%5,182,354
Central African Republic9,9990.09%5,016,678
Mauritania9,9990.09%4,901,981
Croatia9,9990.09%4,059,286
Moldova9,9990.09%4,013,171
Georgia9,9990.09%3,968,738
Eritrea9,9990.09%3,662,244
Uruguay9,9990.09%3,496,016
Bosnia And Herzegovina9,9990.09%3,249,317
Jamaica9,9990.09%2,985,094
Armenia9,9990.09%2,971,966
Albania9,9990.09%2,866,374
Lithuania9,9990.09%2,661,708
Namibia9,9990.09%2,633,874
Gambia9,9990.09%2,558,482
Botswana9,9990.09%2,441,162
Gabon9,9990.09%2,331,533
Lesotho9,9990.09%2,175,699
North Macedonia9,9990.09%2,081,304
Slovenia9,9990.09%2,078,034
Guinea Bissau9,9990.09%2,063,367
Latvia9,9990.09%1,848,837
Equatorial Guinea9,9990.09%1,496,662
Timor Leste9,9990.09%1,369,429
Estonia9,9990.09%1,321,910
Djibouti9,9990.09%1,016,097
Fiji9,9990.09%909,466
Comoros9,9990.09%907,419
Guyana9,9990.09%794,045
Luxembourg9,9990.09%642,371
Montenegro9,9990.09%627,950
Western Sahara9,9990.09%626,161
Cape Verde9,9990.09%567,678
Malta9,9990.09%444,033
Bahamas9,9990.09%400,516
Guadeloupe9,9990.09%399,794
Martinique9,9990.09%374,087
Vanuatu9,9990.09%321,832
Barbados9,9990.09%288,023
Mayotte9,9990.09%286,259
French Polynesia9,9990.09%284,164
Sao Tome And Principe9,9990.09%227,679
Samoa9,9990.09%202,239
Saint Lucia9,9990.09%185,113
Kiribati9,9990.09%123,419
Grenada9,9990.09%113,475
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines9,9990.09%111,551
Tonga9,9990.09%107,749
United States Virgin Islands9,9990.09%103,971
Antigua And Barbuda9,9990.09%99,509
Seychelles9,9990.09%99,426
Isle of Man9,9990.09%85,732
Andorra9,9990.09%77,463
Cayman Islands9,9990.09%67,277
Marshall Islands9,9990.09%60,057
Greenland9,9990.09%56,973
Saint Kitts And Nevis9,9990.09%53,871
Monaco9,9990.09%39,783
Turks And Caicos Islands9,9990.09%39,741
Liechtenstein9,9990.09%38,387
San Marino9,9990.09%34,085
Gibraltar9,9990.09%33,704
British Virgin Islands9,9990.09%30,596
Cook Islands9,9990.09%17,571
Anguilla9,9990.09%15,230
Tuvalu9,9990.09%12,066
Wallis And Futuna9,9990.09%10,982
Saint Pierre And Miquelon9,9990.09%5,759
Montserrat9,9990.09%4,965
Niue9,9990.09%1,622
Tokelau9,9990.09%1,378
Vatican City9,9990.09%799

Buddhist Countries 2022

Sources