Democratizing access to the best data on religion since 1997

Religious Families

Buddhism Family:

Scroll to Profile Section:

US Maps
Top States
Top Counties
Top Metro Areas
Adherence Rates Over Time

Search US Group Profiles

Buddhism Family

Buddhism is a world religion founded by Siddhartha Gautama, who became known as the Buddha, in the sixth or fifth century BCE in India. Teaching reincarnation and freedom from worldly attachments, Buddhism has three major branches: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. According to Buddhism, the origin of suffering comes from ignorance, and one must follow the Eightfold Path to reach nirvana. Following the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which allowed for more immigration from Asia, the Buddhist population has grown rapidly in the U.S.

Maps: Buddhism Family1

Adherence Rate per 1,000 (2020)

Congregations (2020)

Top 5 Buddhism Family States (2020)1 [View all states]

Rank State Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Hawaii 55,240 38.00
2 District Of Columbia 9,062 13.10
3 Washington 73,387 9.50
4 California 311,273 7.90
5 New Mexico 15,575 7.40

Top 5 Buddhism Family Counties (2020)1 [View all counties]

Rank County Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Saguache County, Colorado 3,055 479.70
2 Nelson County, Virginia 2,000 135.40
3 Archuleta County, Colorado 1,500 112.30
4 Mendocino County, California 10,118 110.50
5 Grant County, New Mexico 2,400 85.20

Top 5 Buddhism Family Metro Areas (2020)1 [View all Metro Areas]

Rank Metro Area Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Ukiah, CA Micro Area 10,118 110.50
2 Silver City, NM Micro Area 2,400 85.20
3 Taos, NM Micro Area 2,782 80.70
4 Urban Honolulu, HI Metro Area 40,926 40.30
5 Hilo, HI Micro Area 7,717 38.50

Buddhism Family: Adherence Rates (1980 - 2020)1

Group Tradition Adh. Rate 2020 Adh. Rate 2010 Adh. Rate 2000 Adh. Rate 1990 Adh. Rate 1980
Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism 1.66 2.37
Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism 0.88 0.66
Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhism 0.60 0.18
Buddhists Buddhism


1 The 2020 data were collected by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and include data for 372 religious bodies or groups. Of these, the ASARB was able to gather data on congregations and adherents for 217 and on congregations only for 155. [More information on the data sources]

Our Sponsors

Our Affiliates

© 2023 The Association of Religion Data Archives. All rights reserved.