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World Buddhist population by percentage, world, map

Percentage of Buddhists by country, according to the Pew Research Center | Photo by Wikipedia

Global Faiths: Charting the Top 10 Nations with the Largest Buddhist Populations

As we navigate through the spiritual landscapes of the world, Buddhism stands out with its profound teachings and widespread following. In 2024, the echoes of Siddhārtha Gautama’s wisdom continue to resonate across nations. Here’s a glimpse into the countries where Buddhism’s presence is most significant, based on the latest data:

  1. China – The cradle of Mahayana Buddhism, China tops the list with an impressive 254.7 million Buddhists, embodying the religion’s most extensive following.
  2. Thailand – With a devout Buddhist population of 66.1 million, Thailand’s spiritual fabric is deeply interwoven with the Theravada tradition.
  3. Myanmar – Myanmar, a nation where Buddhism is intertwined with daily life, is home to 41.4 million followers of the faith1.
  4. Japan – Japan’s unique blend of Zen, Pure Land, and Shingon Buddhism accounts for its 41.4 million Buddhists, showcasing a rich tapestry of religious practice.
  5. Cambodia – In Cambodia, where temples and pagodas dot the landscape, there are 15.7 million Buddhists, reflecting the country’s deep-rooted religious heritage.
  6. Vietnam – Vietnam’s 15.6 million Buddhists are a testament to the enduring legacy of Buddhist philosophy and its influence on Vietnamese culture.
  7. Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka, with its Theravada Buddhist majority, has a population of 15.4 million Buddhists, highlighting the religion’s pivotal role in the island’s history.
  8. South Korea – South Korea, where Buddhism coexists with modernity, has a Buddhist population of 10.9 million, symbolizing the faith’s adaptability and resilience.
  9. India – Despite being the birthplace of Buddhism, India has a relatively smaller Buddhist population of 10.1 million, signifying the religion’s historical journey and its diaspora.
  10. Malaysia – Completing the list is Malaysia, with 5.2 million Buddhists, illustrating the religion’s spread across diverse cultural landscapes.

These figures not only highlight the global reach of Buddhism but also its cultural significance and the peace it continues to inspire in the hearts of millions.


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