Religious Adherents, 2010 (World Christian Database)1
The country has an area of 270 square miles and a population of 4.8 million, of whom 3.6 million are citizens or permanent residents. According to the 2000 census, 85 percent of citizens and permanent residents profess a religion. Of this group, 51 percent practice Buddhism, Taoism, ancestor veneration, or other religious practice traditionally associated with the ethnic Chinese population. Approximately 15 percent of the population is Muslim, 15 percent Christian, and 4 percent Hindu. The remainder is composed of adherents of other religious groups, including small Sikh, Jewish, Zoroastrian, and Jain communities. Among Christians, the majority of whom are ethnic Chinese, 33 percent are Roman Catholic and 67 percent are Protestant. The remaining 15 percent of the population does not profess a religious faith.
Approximately 77 percent of the population is ethnic Chinese, 14 percent ethnic Malay, and 8 percent ethnic Indian. Nearly all ethnic Malays are Muslim, and a majority of ethnic Indians are Hindu. The ethnic Chinese population includes mainly Buddhists, Taoists, and Christians. In 2000 there were an estimated 2,000 members of the Jehovah's Witnesses; however, no official membership records are available for either Jehovah's Witnesses or the Unification Church, as neither group is recognized by the Government.
Note: The World Christian Database (WCD) estimates, used in the Religious Adherents section above, count each person as belonging to a maximum of one religious group. For more information, see the WCD methodology document. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom report estimates, used in the Religious Demography section, use less restrictive criteria in which a person who identifies with more than one religion is classified as a follower of each. In certain cases (such as Japan and other nations with strong folk religion traditions), this can cause counts to vary widely between estimates. Users are advised to consult the relevant source documents before determining which counts to cite.
1. The World Christian Database (WCD) is based on the 2600-page award-winning World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends, first published in 1982 and revised in 2001. This extensive work on World religion is now completely updated and integrated into the WCD online database. Designed for both the casual user and research scholar, information is readily available on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demographic statistics. Additional secular data is incorporated on population, health, education, and communications. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.
2. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.