The Largest Buddhist Communities

 

Top 10 Countries with the
Highest Proportion of Buddhists

Country

Percent

Thailand

95%

Cambodia

90

Myanmar

88

Bhutan

75

Sri Lanka

70

Tibet *

65

Laos

60

Vietnam

55

Japan **

50

Macau

45

Taiwan

43



*Tibet: I am not aware of any accurate figures regarding current adherence to Buddhism in Tibet. Prior to the Chinese invasions of 1950 the country was essentially a theocracy in which 100% of the people could be considered adherents of Tibetan Buddhism. There are estimates that up to 20% of the population were monks.

Now many non-Tibetan Chinese live in the region, the region is considered by many a province of China, many of the monks and practicing Tibetan Buddhists have fled and live in neighboring countries, and the Chinese government's active efforts to exterminate religion in the region have had significant impact.

**Should Japan be on this list? Estimates of the percentage of Japanese who are Buddhist vary widely. Perhaps 85% of the population will cite Buddhism is asked what their preferred religion is, but 75% of the population claim to be nonreligious -- to practice and believe in no religion. Frequently seen high figures of 85% or 90% of Japanese being Buddhist come primarily from birth records, following a longstanding practice of family lines being officially associated with a local Buddhist temple. Japan has a large and thriving Buddhist community, but surveys indicate it to be closer to 20% of the population. Certainly there are high numbers of nominal Buddhism and secularism in other countries on this list, but not as pervasively as in Japan.

Source:


Top 10 Largest National Buddhist Populations

Country

Number
of Buddhists

China

102,000,000

Japan

89,650,000

Thailand

55,480,000

Vietnam

49,690,000

Myanmar

41,610,000

Sri Lanka

12,540,000

South Korea

10,920,000

Taiwan

9,150,000

Cambodia

9,130,000

India

7,000,000