Belize
 National Profiles > > Regions > Central America > Belize
Search National Profiles:

Religious Adherents, 2010 (World Christian Database)1

Belize Central America World
Baha'i 2.5% 0.1% 0.1%
Buddhist 0.5% <0.1% 7.2%
Chinese Universalist 0.0% <0.1% 6.3%
Christian 91.1% 95.9% 32.8%
Confucianist 0.0% 0.0% 0.1%
Ethnoreligionist 0.6% 1.0% 3.5%
Hindu 2.0% <0.1% 13.8%
Jain 0.0% 0.0% <0.1%
Jewish 1.1% <0.1% 0.2%
Muslim 0.5% <0.1% 22.5%
Shintoist 0.0% 0.0% <0.1%
Sikh 0.0% <0.1% 0.3%
Spiritist 1.0% 0.1% 0.2%
Taoist 0.0% 0.0% 0.1%
Zoroastrian 0.0% 0.0% <0.1%
Neoreligionists 0.0% <0.1% 0.9%
Atheist <0.1% 0.2% 2.0%
Agnostic 0.7% 2.4% 9.8%

Religious Demography2

The country has an area of 8,867 square miles and population of 312,000. There is a growing mestizo population (48.7 percent), a diminishing Creole component (24.9 percent), a stable Mayan element (10.6 percent), and a Garifuna component (6.1 percent). The balance of the population (9.7 percent) includes Europeans, East Indians, Chinese, Arabs, and North Americans.

According to the 2000 census, Roman Catholics constitute 49.6 percent of the population, Pentecostals 7.4 percent, Anglicans 5.3 percent, Baptists 3.5 percent, Methodists 3.5 percent, Seventh-day Adventists 5.2 percent, and Mennonites 4.1 percent. There are approximately 6,000 Nazarenes and modest numbers of Hindus, Baha'is, Buddhists, Jehovah's Witnesses, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Muslims, Rastafarians, and Salvation Army members. Except for the Mennonites and Pentecostals, who live mostly in the rural districts of Cayo and Orange Walk, members of these groups tend to live in Belize City. Catholics are numerous throughout the country and constitute the majority in all but two of the country's six districts, Belize and Cayo, where they represent a plurality of the population. Approximately 10 percent of citizens identify themselves as nonbelievers or members of no religious congregation.

Sources

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.