World: Religiosity (III) – Belief in Heaven and Hell

Continuing for the world religiosity series, next 2 questions in World Values Survey:

  1. Do you believe in Heaven?
  2. Do you believe in Hell?

The graphs below depict the yes response in percentage of total participants:

The highest percentage of people believe in heaven includes South African (90.7%), American (87.5%), and Ireland (85.6%). The lowest would go to Denmark (18.4%), Czech (20.6%) and Hungary (29.2%) of them said that they believe in heaven.

On the other hand, when asked do they believe in hell, 79.7% Irish say yes, followed by Iceland (78.2%) and Mexican (74.6%). At the another end of spectrum, only 9.4% of Swedish, 9.5% of Danish and 13.1% of Czech people believe there is hell.

One very interesting note is that for the same group of people, the percentage of people believe in heaven is consistently higher than those who believe in hell. The graph below shows the difference in terms of percentage of people who believe in heaven compared to hell, by simple substraction formulae:

Apart from UK, Germany west, Mexico, Greece, Italy and Iceland (there are more people who believe in hell than heaven, surprise!), the other countries are showing very high discrepancy in numbers for those who believe in heaven than believe in hell. Pretty much it is saying that people are more readily to believe there is a heaven, but quite reluctantly to acknowledge there is hell, if such duality is a common understanding, as much as the Christianity teaching in west, so does the concept of hell in East-Sino philosophy.

As a comparison to the developed countries in the west, the numbers in the belief in Hell and Heaven among selected Asia countries are shown in the graph below:

The people in Islamic countries like Egypt, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are overwhelmingly believe there is hell and heaven. However, as consistent to the observation to the developed countries, there is always more people believe in heaven than hell. The same goes to Philipines, Singapore, India and Japan. Viet Nam has a little bit more people believe in hell than in heaven.

So, why there is more people willing to believe there is heaven than hell? Could it be that if there is no hell, there will be no punishment/suffering? Any suggestion?


  1. Mike said,

    May 16, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    I would like to get some more information in regards to your survey. How many participatedand in the survey and how and where did you get your recources to conclude your research.

    • chingchong said,

      February 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      by eating poop and sitting wathcing tv

  2. July 1, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    […] of Americans believe in Heaven and 70% in Hell. (The USA wasn’t in this data, of course.) And this site shows that belief in Heaven and Hell is, as we thought, nearly the same in a wide variety of countries. […]

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