Buddhism is not a single religion and splits into hundreds of schools. It is customary to distinguish 3 main directions in Buddhism:
Mahayana is the largest branch of Buddhism in terms of the number of believers. In 2000, 56% of the world’s Buddhists were followers of the Great Chariot.
Theravada is the oldest branch of Buddhism. In 2000, 38% of the world’s Buddhists belonged to one of the Theravada schools.
Tibetan Buddhism is practiced by 6% of Buddhists.
Most Buddhists (87% or 408 million) live in Asia. Outside this part of the world, significant numbers of Buddhists can be found in North America (3.7 million) and Europe (1.7 million). In other parts of the world, the number of Buddhists is small: in Latin America there are 672 thousand, in Oceania – 448 thousand, in Africa – 247 thousand.