Two thirds of people worldwide are religious, according to a poll of belief in 65 countries. This contrasts with the picture in the UK where two thirds of people are either convinced atheists or not religious, according to Gallup International poll. The poll also shows that worldwide, young people are more religious than older generations, indicating the level of religious belief globally is likely to rise.
The most religious regions were Africa, the Middle East and North Africa where more than eight in ten considered themselves religious.
In Israel, 65 per cent of those asked said that they were either not religious or convinced atheists, compared to just 30 per cent who said they were religious. In the Palestinian Territories, the West Bank and Gaza, 75 per cent said they were religious compared to 18 per cent who said they were not.
Globally, younger people aged under 34 were more religious – about 66 per cent as against about 60 per cent for the other age groups. The poll found that income was a better indicator of religiosity than education. Among those with a medium high and high income, under half were religious, against seven in ten of those with low, medium low and medium incomes. Likewise, the number of convinced atheists was as high as 22 per cent and 25 per cent among people with medium high and high income but only 6 per cent and 5 per cent among people with low and medium low income.
In the UK, just three in ten people said they were religious. More than half, 53 per cent, said they were not religious. More than one in ten, 13 per cent, said they were convinced atheists.
In the United States, nearly six in ten people, 56 per cent, said they were religious. One third said they were not religious and just six per cent were convinced atheists.