The Top 23 Cities Where Meditation Is Most Popular Around the World

  • By: Ryan Kane
  • Updated: February 9, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Meditation is a fast-growing trend around the world.

Ever wonder which cities meditation is most popular in?

There aren’t any global surveys that compare how fast meditation is growing in different cities around the world, so we’re going to turn to Google Trends, Google’s comparison tool, which covers all global search data since 2004.

Let’s jump to the top cities for meditation, and then circle back to methodology that determined them.

The 23 most popular cities for meditation around the world

Here’s a visual of the most popular cities for meditation around the world:

Map of the Most Popular Cities for Meditation MB
Cities where meditation is most popular around the world (Source: Google Trends)

The most popular city for meditation in the world is Melbourne, Australia.

  1. Melbourne, Australia
  2. Perth, Australia
  3. Brisbane, Australia
  4. Sydney, Australia
  5. Dublin, Ireland
  6. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  7. Toronto, Canada
  8. Los Angeles, United States
  9. Hanoi, Vietnam
  10. San Francisco, United States
  11. New York, India
  12. Mumbai, India
  13. Bangalore, India
  14. Montreal, Canada
  15. Pune, India
  16. New Delhi, India
  17. London, UK
  18. Singapore
  19. Hyderabad, India
  20. Chicago, United States
  21. Berlin, Germany
  22. Sao Paulo, Brazil
  23. Paris, France

Ranking by relative popularity of meditation searches

Using Google trends, we were able to create the list above based around relative popularity, meaning that the volume of searches for meditation is compared against the total number of searches in a given area. That helps make sure the data isn’t drowned out by the high volume of searches produced by the largest cities.

Relative Popularity of Meditation by City 2 MB
Cities ranked by relative popularity of meditation (Source: Google Trends)

Adjusting for multiple languages

Searching for “meditation” on Google Trends reflects only searches that have been done in English. However, we were able to search for the same word in multiple languages, to ensure that we’re not only getting English-speaking results.

The maximum we were able to input was ten languages, so we added the most commonly spoken languages around the world, excluding languages like French in which the word is the same as in English.

Here’s what the search looked like:

google trends search meditation city languages
Search within Google Trends for the relative global popularity of meditation (including 10 common languages)

Reflections on this data

This data on the popularity of meditation by city seems to align with other data sources we have, like meditation popularity by country, as well as the scientific studies on meditation that have been conducted to date.

Australia, Ireland, and Nepal round out the top three countries for meditation by relative popularity. So it’s not surprising that Australia took the top four spots by city, too. And with India’s status as the birthplace of meditation, and its modern initiatives to increase the practice of yoga and meditation, it makes sense to see multiple Indian cities.

Given that we were only able to input ten languages, it’s possible that a city that doesn’t speak one of those languages may have shown up on this list. However, even some of the common languages we did include—like Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Korean and Indonesian—didn’t result in any cities primarily speaking those languages showing up on the list.

What about East Asia?

Given East Asia’s historical ties to Buddhism and Buddhism’s relationship to meditation, we were surprised to initially see only Singapore on this list despite including Chinese, Japanese and Korean. We also swapped out languages one at a time to test Thai, Vietnamese, Khmer, Laotian and Burmese, and after doing that, we did find that two Vietnamese cities jumped onto the list. No other cities appeared.

While this is surprising given this region’s historical ties to meditation, one issue with this data is that Google isn’t a widely used search engine in China. Another is that meditation, while historically integrated into East Asian culture, hasn’t always been seen as something practiced by the general population. So while you might expect meditation to be especially popular in places like Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul, that isn’t necessarily the case, especially since meditation has grown rapidly in other places.

As the modern mindfulness meditation movement grows, we can expect this data to change.

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