Chart of The World’s Religions In 1890 – Over 100 Million Barbarians

In 1890, Almost 10% Of The World Contained “Nondescript Heathens”

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This plucky statistic is from a chart entitled “Estimated Number of all Creeds” in S.T.W. Sandford and Sons Book Of Information published in 1890.

The 32 page booklet was given away by the company to promote their patent medicines. Dr. Samuel T.W. Sandford was made wealthy during the mid to late 19th century by selling his cure-all Dr. Sandford’s Liver Invigorator. The information is presented in almanac-like fashion, yet interspersed with advertising for Dr. Sandford’s products on practically every page. Most of the information presented is basic “did you know” material. But the chart caught my eye. 

The world’s estimated 1.3 billion people are broken down as follows:

Number of all people Proportion to total Number percent
Buddhists 405,000,000 31.2
Christians 399,200,000 30.7
Mahomedans 204,200,000 15.8
Brahamanists 174,200,000 13.4
Nondescript Heathens 111,000,000 8.3
Jews      5,000,000 0.6

A 19th century Anglo-American viewpoint that over 100 million people could be described as “Nondescript Heathens” would not be considered anything out of the ordinary.

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