WASHINGTON, U.S., December 19, 2012 (Deccan Herald): Hinduism is the third largest religion of the world after Christianity and Islam and 97 per cent of all Hindus live in three Hindu-majority countries - India, Nepal and Mauritius, according to a study.
Pew demographic study - based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers - finds 2.2 billion Christians (32 per cent of the world's population), 1.6 billion Muslims (23 per cent), 1 billion Hindus (15 per cent), nearly 500 million Buddhists (seven per cent) and 14 million Jews (0.2 per cent) around the world as of 2010.
Pew said overwhelmingly, Hindus and Christians tend to live in countries where they are in the majority. Ninety seven per cent of all Hindus live in the world's three Hindu-majority countries (India, Mauritius and Nepal), and nearly nine-in-ten Christians (87 per cent) are found in the world's 157 Christian majority countries.
The median age of two major groups - Muslims (23 years) and Hindus (26) - is younger than the median age of the world's overall population (28), it said adding that all the other groups are older than the global median.
Hinduism, the study said, is the most geographically concentrated of the eight religious groups analysed in this report. Less than one per cent of Hindus live outside Asia and the Pacific.
Although Muslims are a minority in India (14 per cent of the total population), India nonetheless has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. Pew said India has the largest share (47 per cent) of all members of other religions, including millions of Sikhs and Jains.