With nearly 1 billion Hindus, India has the largest Hindu population in the world. Following India are Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, which are home to 21 million, 13 million, and 4 million Hindus respectively. Although the Hindu populations in Bangladesh and Pakistan are large, the large populations of those countries mean that followers of Hinduism make up 8% and 1.6% of the population respectively.
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. As one of the world's 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.
The following is a list of countries with the world's largest Hindu populations. All data is from the UN or the respective country's census (whichever data is newer).
Countries By Hindu Population
India has the largest Hindu population in the world with 870,000,000 individuals. This number represents nearly 80% of the population. India is one of the few countries in the world where Hinduism is the majority religions. The other major religions in India include Islam, Christianity, and Sikhism, which represent 14.2%, 2.3%, and 1.7% of the population respectively. Hinduism originated in the north of India near the banks of the Indus River.
Nepal has 21,551,492 Hindus. In term of population percentage, Nepal has the largest Hindu population in the world. In celebration of Hindu culture, Nepal hosts a number of festivals every year including the great Dashain festival and Yomari punhi. Buddhism also has a strong presence in the country.
Hinduism is the second most common religion in Bangladesh after Islam. There are 14,487,500 Hindus in Bangladesh. The Hinduism practiced in Bangladesh is very similar to the Hinduism practiced in India. The high rates of vegetarianism in Bangladesh are often explained by the large Hindu population, as abstaining from meat consumption is highly revered in Hinduism.
Pakistan is home to 4,451,000 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 the characteristic of their religious belief. Since then, the Hindu population of Pakistan has been steadily decreasing.
4 million Hindus reside in Indonesia, 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.
The island state of Sri Lanka is home to 2,561,299 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 2,290,000-strong Hindu population of the United States and the 835,418 Hindus living in the United Kingdom are mostly the result of workforce migrations of the last hundred years.
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.