Atheists and nonbelievers, by country has data on the top 50 countries with the highest percentage of people who do not believe in God (though may not self-report as “atheists”) and the top 20 countries with the largest number of nonbelievers. The data comes from Phil Zuckerman, “Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns,” in Michael Martin’s The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (2006, Cambridge University Press).

The United States is #43 for percentage of nonbelievers, and #7 for absolute number of nonbelievers (after China, Japan, Russia, Vietnam, Germany, and France). The top ten countries for highest percentage of nonbelievers are Sweden, Vietnam, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Czech Republic, Finland, France, South Korea, and Estonia.

UPDATE (April 4, 2006): Added a link to the Zuckerman chapter, which is available online.

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  • Geoff Arnold

    A typo, surely. and show that The Cambridge Companion to Atheism isn’t due to be published until October, 2006. Frustrating as it is, we’re going to have to wait for the whole book. (Of course some of the contributors have posted their essays on the web: Dan Dennett’s is already available, for instance.)

  • Sage

    Surely Americans will jump up into the rarified air of Scandinavians in the next Decade and realize the idiocy of a Divine Being ie..Deity

  • Martin Wagner

    Yeah, Sage, that’ll happen!

  • Mark Plus

    The number of “atheists and nonbelievers” alive today, apparently in the ballpark of 800 million to 1 billion, exceeds the entire population of the world alive at any one time before the Industrial Revolution when almost everyone held some religious belief or other. This fact should throw into question the claim that humans have a hardwired predisposition to believe in gods.

  • pkd

    Your link to the Zuckerman paper is outdated. It's moved to: