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New Survey Shows The World's Most And Least Religious Places

Thai Buddhist monks pray and gather at Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple to participate in Makha Bucha Day ceremonies on March 4. Ninety-four percent of Thais who participated in the survey said they considered themselves religious.

Sixty-three percent of people who took part in a global survey of religious attitudes say they are religious, according to WIN/Gallup International, the organization that carried out the polling.

The poll also found that 22 percent said they were not religious while about 11 percent said they were "convinced atheists," according to the poll published today. It surveyed nearly 64,000 people in 65 countries.

Africa and MENA, a region comprised of Middle East and North Africa, were the most religious areas, with more than 80 percent of respondents saying they consider themselves religious. Here is a map of the five most religious countries and places.

In the U.S., 56 percent of people described themselves as religious.

Meanwhile, Western Europe and Oceania were the only regions where about half of those surveyed said they were either not religious or were convinced atheists. The five least religious places can be seen on this map.

The findings also showed that people under the age of 34 tend to be slightly more religious than those from other age groups. Those without an education are the most religious (80 percent), though the religious are a majority among all educational levels, WIN/Gallup said.

Here's a note on the methodology from the polling firm:

"A total of 63,898 persons were interviewed globally. In each country a representative sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed either face to face (31 countries; n=33862), via telephone (12 countries; n=9784) or online (22 countries; n=20356). Details are attached. The field work was conducted during September 2014 - December 2014. The margin of error for the survey is between 2.14 and 4.45 +3-5% at 95% confidence level.

"The global average has been computed according to the share of the covered adult population of the surveyed countries."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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