Meditation statistics: how many people meditate?

28 Meditation Statistics: How Many People Meditate?

The number of people turning to meditation is skyrocketing, and with so many reported benefits it’s really no surprise!

Meditation is no longer a practice reserved solely for those seeking spiritual enlightenment. It has now become a trendy, mainstream activity.

In our data-driven summary you’ll learn more about the growth and who is practicing most.

Let’s take a closer look at 28 fascinating meditation statistics:

Meditation Statistics (Top Picks)

  • Between 200 and 500 million people meditate globally.
  • Over 14% of US adults have tried meditating at least once.
  • 7% of US children regularly practice meditation.
  • Women are twice as likely to meditate compared to men.
  • Adults aged 45-64 are the age group that meditates the most.
  • In the last 10 years, the number of US adults practicing meditation has tripled.
  • The value of the US meditation and mindfulness industry is estimated to be $1.2 billion.

How many people meditate?

It is believed that globally, between 200 and 500 million people meditate.

Between 200 and 500 million people meditate globally

In fact, according to the latest statistics, over 14% of US adults have tried meditation at least once.

With an estimated adult population in the US of 253 million adults that works out at nearly 36 million people.

Another piece of research, published by Pew Research Centre in 2014, suggested the number was even higher. They reported that as many as 40% of Americans claim to meditate at least once a week.

Meditation is now one of the most popular mind and body practices in the US, just behind yoga:

  • Yoga (14.3%)
  • Meditation (14.2%)
  • Chiropractor (10.3%)

7% of children in America also meditate, which is not surprising when you consider how positive it can be for a number of childhood conditions.

Key statistics:

  • Up to 6% of the global population meditate.
  • After yoga, meditation is the most popular mind and body practice in the US.
  • 36 million adults in the US have tried meditation at least once.
  • 7% of US children meditate regularly.

Sources: Mindworks | CDC | NCHS | National Library of Medicine

Who meditates the most?

Women are 5% more likely to meditate than men. According to the latest statistics from the National Health Interview Survey, adults aged 45-64 are the age group that practices meditation the most.

People between 45 and 64 years old meditate the most

Here is the popularity of meditation by age group:

  • 45-64 age group (15.9%)
  • 18-44 age group (13.4%)
  • 65+ age group (13.4%)

Data published in the Journal of Women’s Health showed that 10.3% of women used meditation, compared to 5.2% of men.

10.3% of women use meditation compared to just 5.2% of men

Little is known about why women choose to practice more, however research does show that they can enjoy more benefits than men.

It’s believed that the reason for this is down to the way different genders process emotional distress.

Men tend to externalize their feelings, whereas women internalize and ruminate over an issue, an emotional response which can respond well to meditation.

Key statistics:

  • 10.3% of women meditate regularly, compared to 5.2% of men.
  • Those between 45 and 64 years old are the age group that practice meditation the most.

Sources: National Library of Medicine | NCHS

Meditation is becoming more popular. Since 2012 the number of people practicing meditation has tripled among US adults.

Since 2012 the number of US adults practicing meditation has tripled

The practice has grown among children too, from just 1.6% to 7%.

Key statistics:

  • Between 2012 and 2017, the number of people meditating across the US has tripled.
  • 7% of children in the US now meditate.

Sources: NCHS | National Library of Medicine

What is the number one meditation app?

Calm has been downloaded over 100 million times, making it the number one meditation app.

Calm has been downloaded over 100 million times, making it the number one meditation app

Rival app Headspace, has been downloaded 65 million times.

The value of the meditation apps market was valued at $1.1 billion in 2021, and is expected to grow to $6.8 billion by 2030.

Key statistics:

  • With over 100 million downloads, Calm is the most popular meditation app.
  • The meditation app market is valued at over $1 billion dollars and is expected to grow to six times the size by 2030.

Sources: Business of Apps | Business of Apps | GlobeNewswire

How big is the meditation market?

The meditation and mindfulness industry, in the US alone, is estimated to be worth $1.2 billion.

The US meditation and mindfulness industry is estimated to be worth $1.2 billion

The value of the global meditation market is valued at over $5 billion and is expected to reach over $20 billion by 2029.

Key statistics:

  • The value of the US meditation and mindfulness industry is estimated to be $1.2 billion.
  • Globally, the meditation market is valued at over $5 billion and is expected to quadruple by 2029.

Sources: MarketResearch.com | Designer Women

What is the main benefit of meditation?

Meditation has a wealth of health benefits — it can decrease stress and anxiety, make you feel happier and improve your memory!

In fact the practice has been shown to reduce depression relapses by 12%.

It can ease physical pain, too. Data shows that back pain sufferers practicing meditation are more likely to experience a 30% improvement in their ability to carry out daily tasks compared to those only taking medication.

Research also shows that people who meditate can reduce their chance of being hospitalized for coronary heart disease by 87%.

People who meditate can reduce their chance of being hospitalized for coronary heart disease by 87%

Meditation even has the power to increase telomerase, an enzyme needed to delay the onset of diseases including Alzheimer’s, by 43%.

When asked why they started meditating, participants in the 2012 US National Health Interview Survey gave the following top reasons:

  • General wellness (76.2%)
  • Improving energy (60%)
  • Aiding memory or concentration (50%)
  • Anxiety (29.2%)
  • Stress (21.6%)
  • Depression (17.8%)

In the case of all the above conditions, 60% of the people questioned in the study reported that meditation helped them significantly.

Classroom meditation statistics:

Due to the many mental health advantages, an estimated 3.1 million US children now learn mindfulness meditation in school.

3.1 million US children now learn mindfulness meditation in school

A survey revealed in 2015 that nearly 1000 schools across the US now include mindfulness meditation practices as part of their curriculum. The number in 2022 is expected to be much higher.

One school in San Francisco actually managed to reduce suspensions by 45% after introducing a meditation program.

There is even evidence to show that meditation can give classroom age children one extra hour of sleep each night!

Meditation in the workplace:

According to the National Business Group on Health, approximately 52% of employers offer meditation packages as part of their company benefits for employees.

52% of employers offer meditation as part of their employee benefits package

One company in Detroit, that was way ahead of the curve in the 1980s, actually found that meditation increased productivity by 120%!

Key statistics:

  • Meditation can reduce your chance of being hospitalized for coronary heart disease by 87%.
  • General wellness and boosting your energy levels are the top reasons given for starting to meditate.
  • 3.1 million US children learn mindfulness meditation in school.
  • 52% of employers offer meditation packages as part of their employee benefits.

Sources: National Library of Medicine | National Library of Medicine | Springer Nature | Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease | The Ochsner Journal | CDC | The Atlantic | Metro | SHRM | Google Books

Now you have all the stats, it’s time you discovered a few facts.

Read our article 50 Mind-blowing Meditation Facts you Need to Know!