Christianity is the largest religious group in the world consisting of roughly one third of the world population. Christians can be found all over the world but over the last century the population concentration has shifted. This chart shows the breakdown of Christian population by region from 1910-2010.
Christian Population by Region 1910-2010
In 1910 the Christian population was highly centralized in Europe. About 406,000 of 612,000 total global Christians (66%) lived in Europe at the time. The Americas had the next highest Christian percentage at about 27%. The rest of the worlds Christians combined to only make up the remaining 5%.
Over the following century a massive shift occurred. Europe’s percentage of global Christians dropped to about 26%. Comparatively, the Americas percentage increased to roughly 37%.
The real shift is how much the percentages in Asia and Africa increased. While less than 2% in 1910, Africa’s share of global Christians exploded to almost 24%. The share of Asia-Pacific Christians also nearly tripled, from 4% to 13%.
The reasons behind this shift lie in the fact of net migration trends and birth and death rates. Over the last century Europe has faced declining birth rates, and a net migration out of the continent. The Americas and United States in particular, has had a huge influx of immigrants to increase their population.
In the meantime, places like Africa and Latin America have benefited from modern public health policies and science advancements. Their populations have subsequently greatly increased, driving the growth in Christians in those places.
Though the Christian population has shifted in the last century, the total percent of Christians as a percent of world population has remained fairly consistent at about one third. In comparison, Islam is the worlds second largest religious group with about one quarter of the world population.
Source: Pew Forum