Hinduism stands among the largest world religions, alongside the likes of Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism. Combined, there are over one billion followers of Hinduism in the world today, and more than 97 percent of the worldwide Hindu population lives in India and two neighboring countries (Nepal and Bangladesh). Being one of the oldest religions, Hinduism established traditions associated with worship to divine trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, as the Creator, the Preserver, and the Transformer of the Universe, respectively. In turn, there is a pantheon of other Gods and Goddesses appearing as emanations or type representatives of this Supreme trinity. The devotion to the goddess Kali is widespread across India, and is seen as the appeal to certain aspect of the Brahman himself in feminine form as well as the Mother Goddess. The holy texts of Vedas and later Upanishads formed main philosophical principals of Hinduism. The religion considers the process of spiritual knowledge transmission from Guru, the enlightened teacher to disciple as the main factor of inner education and progress towards ultimate spiritual perfection and enlightenment.
Regional Distribution of Hindu Populations
Almost One Billion Hindus In India, Yet A Higher Prevalence In Nepal
Although India has got the biggest number of Hindu practitioners at 973,750,000, if percentage is the parameter we are looking at, then it is Nepal that has the highest population of India's predominant religion across their own country at 81.4 per cent, leaving India behind at 79.4 per cent and followed by Mauritius with 48.5 per cent.
The famous Nobel laureate Rabintranat Tagore wrote national anthems for two different countries: India and Bangladesh. The latter country stands with 12,680,000 people practicing Hinduism. While Islam is a nationally supported religion, the country of Bangladesh is considered to be a tolerant state for Hinduism and other denominations.
The same is true for Indonesia as with Bangladesh. 4,050,0000 Indonesian Hindus live in the country, which also has the highest Muslim population in the world. The Indonesian island of Bali is particularly dedicated to Hinduism with lots of temples, sculptures depicting science from the Hindus' famous myths, and deep rooted Hindu traditions across the majority of the island's native population.
Pakistan is home to 3,330,0000 Hindu believers, and these are mostly those left in the country after the great divide from when it was formally a part of India. Pakistan emerged as a separate nation in 1948, proclaiming to form an Islamic state. It triggered the biggest migration that Asia had ever witnessed with communities and families got to move from one country to another by characteristic of their religious believe. Since then, the Hindu population of Pakistan has been steadily decreasing. Hindu parents complain that they are unable to educate their children in the Hindu tradition where majority of school offer Islamic education and daily Quran readings. More than 1,500 Pakistanis claiming themselves Hindus have been given Indian citizenship in last 5 years seeking reunification with their religious roots.
The island state of Sri Lanka is home to 2,830,000 Hindus and the country's ancient history is tightly related with Hindu's mythology and culture. Being in proximity of the strongest Hindu source, Sri Lanka had all chances to be a purely Hindu state, but the powerful 15th Century emperor Ashoka embraced Buddhism and sent his son to bring the teachings of Buddha to the island of Sri Lanka, and thus made a historic change giving Buddhism to the island and its inhabitants for centuries to come.
Hindus in the Western World
Another large scale migration of 20th Century became possible due to affordable airfares and employment opportunities in the Western Hemisphere. The 1,790,000-strong Hindu population of the United States and the 890,000 Hindus living in the United Kingdom are mostly the result of work force migrations of the last hundred years.
Malaysia and Myanmar
Malaysia helped Hinduism to spread close to the equator with hundreds of Hindu temples being found across the country and 1,720,000 Hindus residing on its territory. There are 820,000 Hindus in Myanmar (Burma), although this mountainous country is almost entirely dedicated to Buddhism.
A Global Hindu Heritage
Once leaving Asia and the Pacific shores, it has been estimated that only around 1 per cent of the Hindu population reside beyond this realm. This fact attributes to the recognition of the Asian continent with full credit for the rise, spread, and preservation of ages-old principles and mythology derived from Hinduism that have become a valuable part of world history and global culture.
Countries With The Largest Hindu Populations
|Rank||Country||Hindu Population (2010)||% of World’s Hindu Population (2010)|