Canada
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Western Christian

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (34.7%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Canada Northern America World
Christian (all denominations combined) 57.2% 67.5% 29.9%
 
  • Catholic
  • 34.7% 24.1% 15%
     
  • Protestant
  • 13.4% 22.1% 5.6%
     
  • Anglican
  • 4% 1% 1.2%
     
  • Orthodox
  • 2.3% 2.1% 3%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 1.6% 4.7% 2.8%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 1.3% 13.4% 2.3%
    Muslim (all denominations combined) 3.6% 1.6% 22.8%
     
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 3.2% 1.1% 19%
     
  • Shia Muslim
  • 0.4% 0.3% 3.4%
     
  • Other and Unknown Muslim
  • < 0.1% 0.2% 0.3%
    Hindu 1.6% 0.6% 14.5%
    Chinese Folk Religionist 1.6% 0.2% 4.3%
    Sikh 1.5% 0.3% 0.4%
    Buddhist (all denominations combined) 1.1% 1.3% 6.6%
     
  • Mahayana Buddhist
  • 0.4% 0.5% 4.3%
     
  • Theravada Buddhist
  • 0.1% 0.2% 1.6%
     
  • Other and Unknown Buddhist
  • 0.6% 0.6% 0.5%
    Jewish 0.9% 1.7% 0.2%
    Taoist 0.4% --- 0.2%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 0.2% 0.3% 2.5%
    Other Religionist 0.2% 0.2% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 25.8% 16.9% 12%
    Unknown 5.9% 8.9% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    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.


    Sources

    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    3.  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.

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