Irreligion or irreligiousness is the absence of religious belief. Although people classified as irreligious do not follow a religion, it does not necessarily imply a lack of belief in the supernatural or in deities; such a person may be a non-religious or non-practicing theist. In particular, those who associate negative connotations with "religion" or see it only as "organized religion" often hold spiritual beliefs despite describing themselves as irreligious.
Some prefer the term nonreligion (or non-religion) because of the negative connotations of irreligion, such as "hostility to religion",  much as some who use terms such as agnostic or nontheist do so because of the long-standing negative connotations of atheism. However, those who self-identify as irreligious typically see this as a non-issue, or prefer to try to change the word's connotations rather than avoiding it because of them. A small minority of self-identified irreligious people actually are hostile to religion, however; for these, see antireligion.
|Those identifying themselves as having no religion by country|
|Country||Percentage stating they have no religion||Source|
|New Zealand||32.0% of the 85.9% of the population adequately answering a question on religion.||Statistics New Zealand (2001 census) |
|Australia||17.5% of the 88.3% of the population choosing to answer a question on religion.||Australian Bureau of Statistics (2001 census) |
|United Kingdom||16.8% of the 92.7% of the population choosing to answer a question on religion.||UK National Statistics (2001 census) |
|Canada||16.2%||Canada 2001 Census |
|South Africa||15.1%||Statistics South Africa Census 2001|
|United States||15.0% of the 94.6% of those choosing to answer a question on religion, based on a survey of 50,281 households in 48 out of 50 states.||American Religious Identification Survey (2001) (as reported by US Census Bureau )|