Meditation practice has been growing in popularity over the years and more people are starting to appreciate its value in their lives.
With the new technology trends in meditation that accommodate people of all walks, it is not a surprise that the practice will keep growing and more meditators will spring up in the coming years.
But what is the current meditation population and market like?
We look at the recent studies and interesting facts about the number of people who do meditation on a regular basis.
The Overview of The Meditation Population
The practice of meditation has grown tremendously over the last 20 years. With the continuous spreading of the exercise in its various forms, the estimate of people who are actively involved in meditation is in the range of millions.
The different types of meditation are something that have contributed to the growth since there is at least one meditation type that proves to be a good fit in terms of belief and personal inclinations for someone who is willing to give it a try.
The most popular type of meditation is mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation is known to have its roots in the Eastern countries and was made known in the West mainly by Jon Kabat-Zinn Zinn, who created the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program and Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese monk who founded the Plum village tradition.
Due to its wide range of benefits, mindfulness meditation is now being practiced across the world.
There are also other organizations such Mindfulness Without Borders and the Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness as well as mindfulness based therapies like Mindfulness Based Coginitve Therapy (MBCT) that is based solely on it which aims at helping to reduce global issues which increases its popularity.
When the other forms of meditation are also factored in, the whole practice of meditation becomes among the top self-improvement techniques in the world.
Meditation Population – The Specific Figures
If you follow the trend of the growth rate of meditation, you will come to realize that it has really soared in the last few years.
Research done by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) showed that 8% of the population among adults in the United States did meditation back in 2012 (1).
Although there are no accurate results on the global population, it is estimated about 200 million to 500 million people who meditate all over the world when all forms of meditation are put into account. Some people engage in spiritual meditation while other do guided meditation, to name a few, and this is a huge number of people in total.
As mindfulness meditation takes the first place as the most widely practiced style of meditation, other forms such as transcendental meditation, Vipassana meditation, loving kindness meditation, chakra meditation and walking meditation are also attracting a lot of people.
These numbers keep growing as meditation is becoming an essential part of life for many people.
Cultivating the habit of meditation is encouraged by all experts if the practitioners desire to experience its full benefits. This requires a life long commitment and seeing meditation as a lifestyle and integrating it into your daily routine.
Composition of the Meditation Population
Overall, meditation is now considered one of the top 3 mind and body exercises to be practiced the most in the United States. Actually it comes second after yoga and then chiropractic therapy follows in the third position (4).
The earlier mentioned 14% to 40% of the adult population that meditates is expected to increase in the coming months and years too.
2017 statistics from the National Health Interview Survey have also revealed that women who meditate are about 16.3% and they are more than men who are about 12%.
Within the same adult population, the age group of 45 years to 64 years is the one that meditates the most on a frequent basis with a population of 15.9%, followed by the age groups of between 18 years to 44 years and 65+years that have the same population of 13.4%.
Many school curriculum are also giving mindfulness practices to kids and this has significantly raised the number of kids who are doing meditative practices since 2012.
As many schools begin offering this mind body practices to children, the number in the next 5 years might have doubled up.
The practice has helped children to not only better their cognitive functions but also become more balanced emotionally as well as socially.
The corporate world has also started taking advantage of meditation as a way to increase productivity of the workers. Anxiety, stress and feeling overwhelmed are among the factors that result to low output at work and with mindfulness programs being offered at the workplace, the level of health and overall well-being has greatly improved.
The use of mobile based meditation resources like the Headspace app have encouraged people to meditate more during their breaks.
How About You?
The good thing about meditation is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time on it, especially if you are a beginner. Taking some few minutes (from 1 minute to 10 minutes a day) to meditate can really go a long way for you. It helps you find inner peace and happiness not to mention improving your heart health among other benefits (link).
You will also get to learn how your thoughts, feelings and sensations work and how temporary they are. And with the help of this knowledge together with your experience of the practice, you will be able to live a much more peaceful life in the present moment.
There are lots of meditation resources out there including courses, podcasts, online groups and apps to help you get started and ensure a productive experience through your meditation journey. You only need to allocate 5 minutes for this to start with and when you get to see how it impacts your life, you can decide to make more time for it.
Life is unpredictable. You can never really tell what it has in store for you but you have the ability to control how it affects you. Meditation helps you realize that power and apply it for your own benefit and for others.