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PATHEOS LIBRARY OF

World Faiths & Religions

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Pagans are there?

Determining the number of practicing or self-identified Pagans is difficult for a number of reasons. Many surveys include Pagans in the category of "other religions;" Pagans (like members of many minority religions) sometimes are wary of disclosing their religious path to strangers (through surveys or census questionnaires) for fear of discrimination or harrassment; and many people who consider themselves Pagan also identify with another religion as well. Different sources offer different estimates for the number of contemporary Pagans.  Some studies suggest that there are at least 1.2 million Pagans in the United States. (source: Jason Pitzl-Waters, The Wild Hunt, "Parsing the Pew Numbers," http://wildhunt.org/blog/2008/02/parsing-pew-numbers.html; Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, http://religions.pewforum.org/)  The 2001 Canadian census recorded a Pagan population percentage of 0.1 percent, but Canadian scholars say that number is low. The American "Pagan Buying Audience" numbers 10 million persons, according to an executive with Barnes & Noble. (James R. Lewis, "The Pagan Explosion: An Overview of Select Census and Survey Data, " in The New Generation Witches, Hannah E. Johnston and Peg Aloi, eds. (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007, 13-24.)) The website religioustolerance.org suggests that there are about 750,000 Wiccans in the U.S. (http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_nbr3.htm), and adherents.com estimates that there are about 3 million Pagans worldwide (http://adherents.com/Na/i_n.html).