I was listening to the introductory podcast from the Buddhist Geeks series. The guys presenting are of the younger demographic i.e. in their twenties. They felt that this was unusual and most Western Buddhist practioners were older - baby boomer generation.

Does anyone have any surveys or statistics that analyse self identified Buddhists in the West by age? Do they tend to be older? Or is the age range pretty much similar to the population at large?

  • I'm not hugely satisfied with the term Western Buddhist but I can't think of a better short term. I may ask on meta. Aug 12 '14 at 9:21

I am 32 and I live in Florida. Florida is full of older people and they outnumber us 20s and 30s year olds. As for Buddhism, the ratio stays pretty consistent to the overall demographic. In my sangha of over one hundred, and I maybe one of three people under 40 years old. Our local university often sends students to experience the sangha for extra credit, but they rarely stay past the assignment.

However I have started a wake up sangha for people in their 20s and 30s (www.wkup.org) here in Fort Myers, and the wake up sanghas do seem to be growing.


I does seem that Buddhism is more popular among baby boomers in the US, see e.g. http://approachingaro.org/is-buddhism-just-for-baby-boomers

However, as it refers to baby boomers, it looks like it's a US-specific phenomenon, I don't think it applies to Europe or other Western countries.

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