A new study co-authored by World Population Program researchers Marcin Stonawski and Michaela Potančoková  entitled The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050 suggests that differences in fertility and population structures by age between religious communities and religious switching will change the world’s religious profile.
While many people have offered predictions about the future of religion, these are the first formal demographic projections using data on age, fertility, mortality, migration, and religious switching for multiple religious groups around the world. The researchers gathered the input data from more than 2,500 censuses, surveys, and population registers, an effort that has taken six years.
The main finding of the project was that while the number of religiously unaffiliated people (atheists, agnostics, and others) is increasing in some countries, the proportion of the global population unaffiliated with any religion will be smaller in 2050 than it is today. This runs counter to expectations that religion is declining around the world. The study also finds that if current trends continue, by 2050:
 Stonawski M, Skirbekk V, Hackett C, Potančoková M, Connor P, and Grim BJ (2015). Global population projections by religion: 2010-2050. Yearbook of International Religious Demography 2015. pp 99-116. doi:10.1163/9789004297395_004.
 Hackett C, Stonawski M, Potancokova M, Grim BJ, Skirbekk V (2015). The future size of religiously affiliated and unaffiliated populations. Demographic Research, 32(1):829-842 doi:10.4054/DemRes.2015.32.27.
 Pew Research Center (2015). The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050 http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/
Columbia University, New York, USA
Pew Research Center, Washington DC, USA
Last edited: 25 February 2016
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