Theravada Buddhists in the World
There are two major divisions of Buddhism in the world; Theravada and Mahayana. The Mahayana includes Vajrayana (Tibetan Buddhism) and has many different forms, schools, or traditions and the majority of all Buddhists are Mahayana. This Dhamma Wiki encyclopedia focuses on early Buddhism, i.e., Theravada. Based on the number of Buddhists in the World article here at Dhamma Wiki, a rough estimate is given here as to the total number of Theravada Buddhists in the world.
This is only a rough estimate, as it is difficult to ascertain the exact numbers of Buddhists by tradition since there is considerable overlap among many Buddhists. Many follow more than one tradition and also more than one religion. For example, followers of Thich Nhat Hanh practice Theravada mindfulness, have celibate monks and nuns, but are a Mahayana Order, primarily being Zen. Or for example, some Buddhists prefer to be called Theravada, but also attend Zen centers, Vajrayana centers; or vice versa, such as a Zen practitioner who also likes Theravada, etc.
|China, liberal est.||1,070,893,447||5%||53,544,672|
|China, conservative est.||669,308,405||5%||33,465,420|
|Other Asian countries||213,492,875||8%||17,079,430|
|Total Theravada in Asia, lib. est.||243,541,751|
|Total Theravada in Asia, cons. est.||223,462,498|
|Canada & N. Am. islands||368,447||35%||128,956|
|Total Theravada in N. America||2,276,231|
|Other European countries||785,700||35%||274,995|
|Total Theravada in Europe||1,481,128|
|Total Theravada in Latin America and S. Am.||868,929||35%||304,125|
|Total Theravada in Australia & Oceania||618,752||35%||216,563|
|Total Theravada in Africa||194,550||35%||68,093|
|Total Theravadins in the world, liberal est.||247,887,891|
|Total Theravada in the world, conservative est.||227,808,639|
Approximately 225 million to 250 million Theravada Buddhists in the world.
Last updated: April 2010
- Buddhists in the World
- List of Buddhist Records and Trivia
- 8 Wonders of the Buddhist World
- The appeal of Buddhism
- Misconceptions about Buddhism
- The Complete Book of Buddha's Lists -- Explained. David N. Snyder, Ph.D., 2006.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_peoples#Population_in_China (Over 23 million Tai people in China, mostly Theravada Buddhist)
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shan (6 million Shan people, mostly Theravada, some living in China)
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xishuangbanna_Dai_Autonomous_Prefecture (About 1 million, mostly Theravada in this Prefecture of China)