Buddhist Countries

Can you guess the countries where at least 15% of the population is Buddhist according to the Pew Research Center?
Quiz by HermanSilow
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Last updated: July 25, 2019
First submittedMay 29, 2013
Times taken72,461
Rating4.94
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% Buddhist
Answer
96.9
Cambodia
93.2
Thailand
80.1
Myanmar
74.7
Bhutan
69.3
Sri Lanka
66.0
Laos
55.1
Mongolia
% Buddhist
Answer
36.2
Japan
33.9
Singapore
22.9
South Korea
21.3
Taiwan
18.2
China
17.7
Malaysia
16.4
Vietnam
+11
Level 47
Jun 24, 2013
Well that was fairly easy. I actually knew quite a few of these, but I still had to guess for some just based on geography.
+56
Level 61
Jun 29, 2017
I missed Laos. That makes me feel laosy.
+2
Level 63
Feb 2, 2021
hahhahahahhahah
+1
Level 50
Dec 9, 2019
Same here, my guesses for the ones I didn't know where also geography-based.
+2
Level 40
Jun 25, 2013
Interesting quiz.. got them all right.
+7
Level 33
Aug 26, 2014
Surprised India wasn't on because that's where Buddhism originated.
+18
Level 83
Apr 24, 2015
gandalf is right. Religions spread and mutate and take hold in different places. Contemporary Christianity, the way we think of it today, is really not the Middle Eastern religion of Paul, and certainly not the Jewish Apocalypse/Personality Cult of Jesus, but it's actually a Roman religion, instituted by Constantine and spread to every corner of the Roman Empire using rituals, iconography, and even theology borrowed from traditional Roman polytheism. Rome, and Italy, and pretty much all of what was once the Roman Empire- the bits that were not conquered by Arabs anyway- are still predominantly Christian.

The earliest Christian communities, prior to the Roman absorption of the religion, were in Israel (now predominantly Jewish, large Muslim minority, small Christian minority), Syria (now predominantly Muslim, small Christian and tiny Jewish minorities), Turkey (predominantly Muslim), and Lebanon (mixed Muslim and Christian).

+13
Level 83
Apr 24, 2015
The first officially Christian countries were Armenia (adopted in 301 AD), the Roman Empire (adopted in 313 AD), and Aksum/Abyssinia (adopted in 330 AD). The city-state of Edessa became officially Christian around 218 AD.

If we consider Italy or Vatican City to be the modern day equivalent of Rome, and Ethiopia to be the modern day equivalent of Aksum, then all of these places are still Christian today except Edessa, in Turkey, which has no modern day nation-state equivalent.

+17
Level 44
Aug 27, 2015
VERY surprised Nepal wasn't on there.
+1
Level 71
Feb 26, 2016
I have a feeling that all the Tibetan exiles may not be counted.
+13
Level 57
Jul 7, 2018
A bit over 10 percent of Nepal's population is Buddhist, but Buddhism has been culturally influential in Nepal in ways that aren't really reflected by the small numbers. Buddhist minorities like the Sherpas and Tamang traditionally live in high mountains near Tibet; the geography doesn't support large populations, but Buddhist stupas and monasteries in Kathmandu have drawn pilgrims for over a thousand years, drawing Tibetans as well as Sherpas etc. Plus the community native to Kathmandu, the Newars, is part Hindu and part Buddhist (based on family lineage) and has a lot of intermingling of Buddhist and Hindu practices in unique ways. Also, Nepal is 81% Hindu and Hindus view Buddha as a form of Vishnu; I think that sense is even more prominent in Nepal because of pride in being Buddha's birthplace. So even though most Nepalis don't tick the "Buddhist" box on the census, Buddha occupies a powerful place in national identity.
+1
Level 39
Jun 10, 2016
hi bhutan hi...forgot you for some reason
+7
Level 45
Feb 6, 2017
forgot my own country lol (Sri Lanka)
+3
Level 75
Mar 27, 2017
Nepal?
+2
Level 82
Mar 27, 2017
Very interesting quiz
+3
Level 71
Mar 28, 2017
I'm actually surprised that Vietnam is only 16%. Usually where there are indigenous religions, Buddhism just sort of syncretically absorbs/adapts them.
+8
Level 72
Jun 29, 2017
Communists there tried to crack down on it a lot. Same happened in China in the past. Even the communists in Laos tried, but people there took Buddhism so seriously there that the government had to stop.
+1
Level 34
Mar 12, 2020
That is pretty interesting, I am thinking about the reasons for the difference between Laos and Vietnam and it is pretty difficult to find them...
+2
Level 64
Jun 19, 2017
I don't know how they got these figures, but Vietnam is a lot higher than 16%.
+1
Level 55
Apr 4, 2021
Agreed! Y'all should visit Vietnam when it's the first day of Lunar New Year, sooooooooooo many Viets visit Buddhist pagodas at the time! Definitely more than 16%.
+1
Level 17
Jun 19, 2017
INDIA ?
+3
Level 55
May 17, 2021
NO ?
+1
Level 47
Jun 29, 2017
100%, 0:58 remaining
+3
Level 59
Jun 29, 2017
To any comments wondering why East Asian countries have such low percentages, a lot of people there are irreligious (Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam).
+4
Level 71
Sep 28, 2017
I would say 'have no religion', irreligious tends to sound hostile.
+9
Level 65
Sep 16, 2018
Why would it sound hostile?
+2
Level 67
Jan 28, 2019
I dont know but it does. Maybe because many words with -i(r) are negative, irresponsible, immoral. -un is much more neutral, or even non.
+1
Level 57
Aug 27, 2019
is there a difference between irreligious and atheist?
+7
Level 65
Aug 27, 2019
Yes. Atheism is lacking belief in a god or gods, and irreligious means following no religion. Buddhists, for example, are mostly atheist but not irreligious. I know someone who believes in God but doesn't follow any religion. He would be irreligious but not atheist.
+1
Level 72
Jun 29, 2017
I was expecting Bhutan to be 95%+. Are there lots of indigenous religions there too?
+4
Level 86
Jun 29, 2017
A lot of people in the southern part practice Hinduism.
+1
Level 66
Jun 29, 2017
I expected Nepal to be one of the countries.
+1
Level 32
Jun 29, 2017
that quiz was fun, looking forward to more religion ones
+2
Level 43
Jun 30, 2017
Crap, forgot Singapore
+1
Level 11
Jul 20, 2017
I missed out Mongolia
+1
Level 59
Nov 9, 2017
According to the data - Macau has 17.3% Buddhist population, so it should be on the list.
+1
Level 29
Aug 12, 2020
Its not a country
+1
Level 45
Dec 24, 2017
Missed cambodia and malaysia.....
+1
Level 74
Jul 9, 2019
I thought Nepal was majority Buddhist.
+4
Level ∞
Jul 25, 2019
Hindu, actually
+1
Level 74
Dec 7, 2019
I see.
+2
Level 69
Dec 7, 2019
The ''only'' 18.2% of the Chinese population still make for about 250 million people!
+1
Level 37
Dec 8, 2019
I thought that the majority religion in Japan would be Shinto.
+2
Level 61
Dec 17, 2019
It is.
+1
Level 83
Mar 12, 2020
36% is not a majority (the % that is Buddhist), but moreover Buddhism and Shintoism are not mutually exclusive.
+2
Level 49
Jun 18, 2020
Sri Lanka - least guessed??? I didn't get all of them, but I did at least get that...
+2
Level 72
Jan 14, 2021
Well, that turned out to be far easier than it sounded.
+1
Level 62
Mar 10, 2021
This quiz: *exists*

Also existing: *sad nepal noises*

+1
Level 26
May 6, 2021
Missed Cambodia and myanmar and bhutan and sri lanka singapore and malaysia I feel very ISingI a pore
+1
Level 56
Aug 10, 2021
37 seconds remaining, Mongolia took me a while