Religious Adherents, 2010 (World Christian Database)1
The country has an area of 3,855,101 square miles and a population of 33.1 million. According to the 2001 census, the last census to include questions about religious affiliation, approximately 77.1 percent of the population belongs to Christian denominations or claims Christianity as its religion. Roman Catholics (44 percent of the population) constitute the largest group, followed by Protestant denominations (29 percent). The United Church, Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Baptist, and Pentecostal are the largest Protestant groups. The Muslim population stands at 2 percent, and approximately 1.1 percent of the population is Jewish. Other religious groups include Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs, each with approximately 1 percent of the population. Several other religions, such as Scientology, Baha'i, Shinto, and Taoism each account for less than 1 percent. According to the 2001 census, 0.1 percent of the population identifies itself as followers of "aboriginal spirituality." Approximately 16 percent of the population claims no religious affiliation.
Approximately two-thirds of the country's net population growth is due to immigration. Most of these immigrants were born in Asia and generally practice religions different from the majority of native-born citizens. According to the 2006 census, "visible minorities" comprise 16.2 percent of the overall population. Ninety-six percent of these minorities live in urban areas, with the metropolitan areas of Toronto and Vancouver accounting for 60 percent of the national total of "visible minority" residents.
A 2006 Ipsos Reid Survey of Christian religious attitudes indicates that approximately 17 percent of the population attends a Christian church on a weekly basis. A May 2006 Statistics Canada study reports that approximately 32 percent of the adult population attends a religious service at least once per month.
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.