Section I. Religious Demography
The U.S. government estimates the total population at 68.1 million (midyear 2021). ccording to a January 2020 report released by the government-appointed Observatory for Secularism, based on a poll conducted in cooperation with polling company Viavoice, approximately 47 percent of respondents identify as Catholic, 3 percent Muslim, 3 percent Protestant, 2 percent Buddhist, 1 percent Jewish, 1 percent Christian Orthodox, and 1 percent other religious groups; 34 percent said they have no religious affiliation and 8 percent preferred not to respond. According to the observatory’s 2019 report, there are 140,000-150,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses and 150,000-300,000 Hindus. In a poll on secularism released in February and conducted with Viavoice, 35 percent of respondents say they are believers, 30 percent nonbelievers or atheist, 14 percent agnostic, and 13 percent indifferent. Most observers, including the observatory in its 2019 report, estimate the number of Muslims in the country at three to five million, or between 4 and 7 percent of the population. According to Church of Scientology leaders, there are approximately 40,000 followers in the country.
A poll by the research firm French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP) conducted August 24-25 found that 51 percent of respondents said they do not believe in God, and 49 percent said they do. According to the IFOP poll, the highest percentage of believers (58 percent) was found among those 65 years and older and the lowest (45 percent) among those aged 35-49. Other age groups were close to evenly split, with a slight majority of nonbelievers.