Hinduism is one of the world’s major religions with a global following of over 1.032 billion people. The religion that originated in India is believed to be the oldest one in the world. Most Hindu followers are located in Asia with the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada having the largest Hindu population outside Asia. The Pew Research Center, a fact tank in 2015 released a report which showed the projections of the countries with the largest Hindu Population in 2050.
Hinduism is India’s major religion with about 80% of Indians identifying as Hindus which makes India one of three countries where Hinduism is practiced by a majority of the population. India accounts for 94.3% of the total Hindu population in the world with over 973.75 million Indians practicing Hinduism in 2010. A testament to the popularity of Hinduism in India can be seen in the country’s alternative name; Hindustan which loosely translates to “Land of the Hindus.” In the year 2050, the Hindu population in India is projected to record a 25% increase to reach 1.297 billion followers who will account for 93.8% of the global Hindu population. The Muslim population is expected to grow faster than the Hindu population recording a 76% increase. The PEW Research Center forecasts that Hindus will account for 80% of the total Indian population in 2050. A perfect case study on the matter is the Manipur region where the Hindu population experienced a 5% decline between 1991 and 2001 caused by locals embracing the native Sanamahi religion.
Nepal has the second largest Hindu population in the world with its Hindu population being estimated to be around 24.17 million people (2010 estimates) representing 2.3% of the global Hindu population. Over 81% of Nepal’s citizens practicing Hinduism. The majority Hindu in Nepal is expected to continue into the future with projections from the PEW Research Center forecasting a Hindu population of 38.12 million in the year 2050 translating to a 36.6 % population increase. Nepal Hindu population in 2050 is projected to represent 2.8% of the world’s Hindu population. The increase in population will be attributed to the current demographic analysis where children below the age of 14 make up 36.2% of Nepal’s Hindu population. Hindus in Nepal have the second lowest median age of 21 years.
Hinduism is the second-largest religion in Bangladesh behind Islam with over 12 million residents or 8.5% of the total national population identifying as Hindu. Hinduism in Bangladesh has experienced a rapid decline over the past century. In 1901, Hindus accounted for 33% of the country’s population. The percentage shrunk by half in the mid-20th century after the Bangladesh Liberation War where an estimated 20 million Hindus were either killed or displaced from the country. The percentage of Hindus in the total population is expected to shrink even further in the future. However, the projections show that by 2050, the population of Hindus will have increased to about 14.47 million people.
The Hindu population in Indonesia is the fourth-largest in the world with the country having 4.05 million Hindus. However, records from the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs put the number of Hindus in the country at about 10 million individuals. Hindus constitute 0.4% of the total population of Indonesia making Hinduism a minor religion in the country. Bali makes up the bulk of Hindus in the country with 83.5% of Bali residents being Hindu. By the year 2050, the relative percentage of Hindus will experience a rapid decline, and while the population of Hindus will have increased to reach 4.15 million people, the country will have dropped in rank from having the fourth largest Hindu population in 2010 to having the sixth largest in 2050.
Pakistan has a population of 3.33 million Hindus who account for 0.3% of the global Hindu population. The religion is the second largest in Pakistan after Islam. Majority of Pakistan’s Hindu population is situated in the Sindh province. However, years of persecution led to the religion to experience a steady decline over the past 50 years with an estimated 4.7 million Hindus moving to India in the mid-20th century. Pew Research Center projects that by 2050, the Hindu population will have grown to 5.63 million.
In 2010, Sri Lanka had the sixth largest Hindu population in the world with its 2.83 million Hindus accounting for 0.3% of the world’s Hindus. Hinduism is a minor religion in Sri Lanka with only 12.6% of all citizens practicing Hinduism with the vast majority being situated in the northern and central regions of the country. The religion is facing a steady decline with Hindus migrating out of the country in their millions in the mid-20th century. By 2050, the total Hindu is projected to reach 3.43 million.
In 2010, the United States had the largest Hindu population outside Asia with a total Hindu population of 1.79 million which was the seventh largest in the world and accounted for only 0.2% of the global Hindu population. American Hindus account for about 1% of the nation’s population making the Hinduism a minority religion in the United States. The Pew Religious Center projects that by the year 2050 the American Hindu population will have grown to 4.78 million people as more Americans embrace the religion.
Hinduism is a minority religion in Malaysia with only 6.3% of the population (about 1.78 million people) identifying as Hindus. It is projected that by the year 2050, the Hindu population in Malaysia will have grown by 24% to reach about 2.27 million Hindus. This projected growth in Hindu population in Malaysia is attributed to the high fertility rate among Hindu women.
The United Kingdom has the second-largest Hindu population outside Asia behind the United States with 890,000 Hindus. The religion is the fourth largest in the country with 1.5% of the total population being Hindu. Unlike many other countries, the Hindu population in the United Kingdom has recorded significant growth over the years and is expected to reach 1.37 million individuals by 2050.
Records from the 2011 Census showed that Canada had the second largest Hindu population in North America with 498,000 Hindus. The religion is a minority with Hindus accounting for only 1.45% of the total Canadian population. Over the past century, Hinduism has experienced a rapid growth attributed to an influx of immigrants from South-East Asia in the late 20th century. It is projected that by 2050, the Hindu population in Canada will have grown to reach 1.07 million people.