Sub-Saharan Africa Religion Survey, 2010

Data Archive > International Surveys and Data > Multiple Nation Surveys > Summary


“The vast majority of people in many sub-Saharan African nations are deeply committed to the practices and major tenets of one or the other of the world’s two largest religions, Christianity and Islam. Large majorities say they belong to one of these faiths, and, in sharp contrast with Europe and the United States, very few people are religiously unaffiliated. Despite the dominance of Christianity and Islam, traditional African religious beliefs and practices have not disappeared. Rather, they coexist with Islam and Christianity. Whether or not this entails some theological tension, it is a reality in people’s lives: Large numbers of Africans actively participate in Christianity or Islam yet also believe in witchcraft, evil spirits, sacrifices to ancestors, traditional religious healers, reincarnation and other elements of traditional African
religions.”

Explore “key findings from more than 25,000 face-to-face interviews conducted on behalf of the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life in more than 60 languages or dialects in 19 sub-Saharan African nations from December 2008 to April 2009. […] The countries were selected to span this vast geographical region and to reflect different colonial histories, linguistic backgrounds and religious compositions. In total, the countries surveyed contain three-quarters of the total population of sub-Saharan Africa.” (Full Report)

Data File
Cases: 25,091
Variables: 203
Weight Variable: WEIGHT
Data Collection
Date Collected: December 2008-April 2009
Funded By
"The report was funded by generous grants from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation as part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project, which aims to increase people’s knowledge of religion around the world" (Full Report).
Collection Procedures
Data were collected through face-to-face interviews with adults who were 18-years-old or older.
Sampling Procedures
Botswana
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all nine regions (Chobe, in the northern region, is excluded
because it is remote and sparsely populated) and all five town councils proportional to
population size and urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: Tswana, English
Fieldwork dates: Dec. 14, 2008 – Jan. 22, 2009
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

Cameroon
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all 10 provinces, excluding some parts of the Maroua area
of the Extreme Nord province due to inaccessibility and poor infrastructure, proportional
to population size and urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: French, English, Fulfulde
Fieldwork dates: Dec. 11, 2008 – Dec. 24, 2008
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

Chad
Sample design: Stratified random sample of accessible areas proportional to population size and
urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: French, Chadian Arabic, Gambaye
Fieldwork dates: Dec. 29, 2008 – Jan. 9, 2009
Representative: Representative of roughly 70 percent of adult population. The desert region of BorkouEnnedi-Tibesti is sparsely populated and unsafe for interviewers. Mandoul, MoyenChari, Ouaddai, Salamat and Wadi Fira were excluded due to instability. Because of areas excluded, the percentage urban is higher than it would be if the entire country had
been sampled.

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all 10 provinces plus Kinshasa, excluding inaccessible and
unstable areas and some conflict areas along border with Rwanda. Urban settlements in
the provinces were slightly oversampled.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: Lingala, Kiswahili, French, Tshiluba, Kikongo
Fieldwork dates: Feb. 7, 2009 – April 10, 2009
Representative: Disproportionally urban. Representative of roughly 80 percent of adult population.

Djibouti
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all six districts proportional to population size and
urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: French, Somali, Afar, Arabic
Fieldwork dates: Jan. 30, 2009 – Feb. 6, 2009
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

Ethiopia
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all nine ethnically based states and two self-governing
administrative areas proportional to population size and urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: Amarigna, Oromigna, English
Fieldwork dates: Jan. 22, 2009 – Feb. 1, 2009
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

Ghana
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all 10 regions proportional to population size and urban/rural
population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: Akan, English, Dagbani, Ewe, Dagaare, Ga, Hausa, Frafra, Talensi, Guruni, Kusaal
Fieldwork dates: Jan. 17, 2009 – Jan. 30, 2009
Representative: Nationally representative adult population with a Muslim oversample

Guinea Bissau
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all nine geo-political regions proportional to population size
and urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: Portuguese
Fieldwork dates: Jan. 22, 2009 – Feb. 1, 2009
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

Kenya
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all seven provinces and the Nairobi area proportional to
population size and urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: Kiswahili, English
Fieldwork dates: Dec. 18, 2008 – Dec. 27, 2008
Representative: Nationally representative adult population with a Muslim oversample

Liberia
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all 15 counties proportional to population size and
urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: English, Liberian Pidgin English
Fieldwork dates: Jan. 21, 2009 – Jan. 31, 2009
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

Mali
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all eight regions and Bamako proportional to population size
and urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: Bambara, French
Fieldwork dates: Jan. 14, 2009 – Jan. 24, 2009
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

Mozambique
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all 10 provinces and Maputo City, proportional to population
size and urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: Portuguese, Makua, Changana, Sena, Ndau
Fieldwork dates: March 5, 2009 – March 30, 2009
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

Nigeria
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all seven geo-political regions proportional to population
size and urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: English, Hausa, Yoruba, Pidgin, Igbo
Fieldwork dates: Feb. 15, 2009 – Feb. 25, 2009
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

Rwanda
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all 12 districts proportional to population size and
urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: Kinyarwanda, French, English
Fieldwork dates: Jan. 21, 2009 – Jan. 31, 2009
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

Senegal
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all 11 regions proportional to population size and urban/rural
population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: Wolof, French
Fieldwork dates: Jan. 14, 2009 – Jan. 24, 2009
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

South Africa
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all nine provinces proportional to population size and
urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: Zulu, English, Xhosa, Sesotho (South Sotho), Sepedi (North Sotho), Tswana, Afrikaans,
Tsonga, Venda, Ndebele, Swati
Fieldwork dates: Dec. 12, 2008 – Dec. 26, 2008
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

Tanzania
Sample design: Stratified random sample of all 21 regions of mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar (Unguja
and Pemba), proportional to population size and urban/rural population.
Mode: Face-to-face adults 18+
Languages: Kiswahili, English
Fieldwork dates: Dec. 15, 2008 – Jan. 6, 2009
Representative: Nationally representative adult population

(http://pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Belief_and_Practices/sub-saharan-africa-appendix-c.pdf)
Principal Investigators
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Related Publications
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life report: Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa, April 2010 http://pewforum.org/preface-islam-and-christianity-in-sub-saharan-africa.aspx

Complete summary information is available at the website:
http://pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Belief_and_Practices/sub-saharan-africa-full-report.pdf
http://pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Belief_and_Practices/sub-saharan-africa-topline.pdf

Methodology information is available at the website:
http://pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Belief_and_Practices/sub-saharan-africa-appendix-c.pdf