Atheism is rising around the world.
A new poll from the WIN/Gallup International Association (PDF) has found a "notable" nine percent decline in those around the world who describe themselves as religious. The last time WIN/Gallup conducted this survey was in 2005. Meanwhile, those claiming to be atheist has risen by three percent. (Somewhere Christopher Hitchens is smiling ... or not!)
There have also been some pretty sharp shifts in several countries with people moving from "religious" to "not religious" (which is not to be confused with outright atheism). Vietnam, France, Germany, Ireland, South African and Ecuador were among those showing the biggest swings away from religiosity. The U.S. also marked a decline of 13 percent.
Those countries who showed an increase in citizens calling themselves religious included Macedonia, Pakistan and Peru.
Meanwhile, the biggest rise in atheism was found in France, followed by the Czech Republic and Japan.