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Pew Forum on Religion in the U.S. February 25, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in General.

The Pew Forum survey of religion in the U.S. has arrived. The U.S. is said to be 0.7% Buddhist. More to follow on this.



1. Lay Theism - February 25, 2008

The New Religious Landscape

I wrote a while back about the inadequacy of the study by Bruce Hunsberger and Altemeyer of non-believers entitled Atheists.  In fact, the subtitle of their book is at best misleading because of the focus on the atheists in only three samples. Their…

2. Gerald Ford - February 25, 2008

Hmph, I expected the number to be higher. I know that in Australia, the population is reputed to be 2% Buddhist, but I don’t know where to cite such figures.

It seems that Buddhism is not growing much in the US. That’s a shame. That, or people surveyed do not understand that Buddhism isn’t just a philosophy.

3. Tom Armstrong - February 26, 2008

Where was it I heard a couple times recently that the average age of Buddhists in the US is 48. This Pew Survey puts a dagger in that stat.

If you look at the Portraits and choose Buddhism, you learn that 23% are between 18 and 29; 40% are between 30 and 49; 30% are between 50 and 65; and 7% are over 65.

So, roughly, the distribution by decade of age is this for adults 18 and over:

18 & 19 : 03%
20 – 29 : 20%
30 – 39 : 20%
40 – 49 : 20%
50 – 59 : 20%
60 – 70 : 13%
over 70 : 04%

So, the average for ADULT Buddhists [immigrant and convert], only, is LOW 40s. The distibution is starkly even. Of course, as a percentage of US population as a whole, by age decade, there are more older Buddhists than younger ones, but the Strandian idea that craggy old domineering Buddhists dominate and poison the Buddhist population is crap on the very face of it!

While the immigrant Buddhists are likely to have very many more children around, I doubt the Adult distribution of Buddhists is all that different between immigrant and convert Buddhists. Indeed, if there is a difference, I would wager it is the immigrants that skew olders.

Take THAT, Clark Strand!! POW!

4. Tom Armstrong - February 26, 2008

Additional points: If you look at the Mainline Christian Churches in the portraits, the median adult age is 50, MUCH higher than we Buddhists.

AND the male / female ratio of Buddhists is a mild 53 to 47.

You like apples, Gwen Bell? How do you them apples!?


Excuse me while I do my Church Lady Superiority dance.


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