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The share of the population that is Christian in sub-Saharan Africa climbed from 9% in 1910 to 63% in 2010, while in the Asia-Pacific region it rose from 3% to 7%.

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For some countries, such as China, the Pew Forum’s estimates also take into account statistics from church groups, government reports and other sources. Orthodox Christians comprise 12% of Christians worldwide.

(See Appendix C [PDF] for more details on the range of estimates available for China.) Christians are diverse theologically as well as geographically, the new study finds. Other Christians, such as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, make up the remaining 1% of the global Christian population.

Today, only about a quarter of all Christians live in Europe (26%).

A plurality – more than a third – now are in the Americas (37%).

(See world maps weighted by Christian population in 19.) These are some of the key findings of , a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.

The study is based primarily on a country-by-country analysis of about 2,400 data sources, including censuses and nationally representative population surveys.

Moreover, the fastest growth in the number of Christians over the past century has been in sub-Saharan Africa (a roughly 60-fold increase, from fewer than 9 million in 1910 to more than 516 million in 2010) and in the Asia-Pacific region (a roughly 10-fold increase, from about 28 million in 1910 to more than 285 million in 2010).

The Pew Forum, in consultation with demographers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria, acquired and analyzed about 2,400 data sources, including censuses and general population surveys, to arrive at Christian population figures for 232 countries and self-administering territories – all the countries and territories for which the United Nations Population Division provides overall population estimates.

But even though Christians are more numerous in the Global South, the concentration of Christians is much higher in the Global North, where 69% of the population is Christian.

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