March 8, 2012

Faith on the Move - The Religious Affiliation of International Migrants

Buddhist Migrants

fonm-300x200Like Hindus, Buddhist migrants overwhelmingly have come from the Asia-Pacific region. Nearly half of Buddhists who have left countries in the region have moved to other countries in that same region. But large numbers of Buddhists also have moved to North America, as well as to Europe.

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In terms of individual countries, the top two sources of Buddhist migrants have been Vietnam and China (more than 1 million each). Other major countries of origin for Buddhist migrants include Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan.

Many Buddhist migrants have moved to nearby countries in Asia, though significant numbers also have gone to the United States and Canada. Indeed, the United States has far more Buddhist migrants (about 1.7 million) than any other single country. Singapore, the second-largest destination for Buddhists, has about 600,000, mostly from the nearby countries of China and Malaysia.

Buddhists also have migrated in substantial numbers to Australia (more than 300,000), Canada (nearly 300,000) and Germany (about 200,000). Most of the remaining top destinations for Buddhist migrants are in the Asia-Pacific region (Hong Kong, Japan, Cambodia and Malaysia).

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