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Catholiques et protestants 1950-2010

In spite of their large congregations, the German Churches continue to experience lack of interest on the part of their members. According to sociologist Michael Ebertz (1998), four phases mark the evolution of Church membership in Germany.
1. From the 1950’s to the mid 1960’s, the Churches had a clear monopoly over the religious market. More than 90% of the population were members of one of the two principal Churches.
2. In the second phase (1965 to1980), the Churches’ relevance as a binding force decreased and Christian groups fell into decline. This marked the beginning of what historians describe as the end of the "second confessional era" (Blaschke 2001).
3. This trend gained momentum during the 1980’s, a period during which churchgoers also aged and began to comprise mainly of women.
4. The country was divided into three religious / denominational groups following the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990. Germany’s religious population at that time comprised 26 million Catholics, as many Protestants and 23 million people who had no religious affiliation. Those who had no religion were principally found in East Germany, where the lack of religious practice is considered as normal as being Catholic or Protestant in the West. The adherents of other religions were in the minority. This continuous change in religious affiliation and demography is related to three factors. Firstly, since the 1970’s, there have been more funerals than christenings. Secondly, more people are leaving Churches than entering them. Finally, the number of Christians lost through emigration is higher than that gained through immigration.

Total population, Catholic and Protestants 1960 - 2010

year Total population Catholics Absolute figures % Protestants Absolute figures %
1960 55.433.000 25.804.000 46,5 28.529.000* 50,8*
1965 58.619.000 27.500.000 46,9 29.079.000 49,6
1970 60.651.000 28.951.000 47,7 28.378.000 46,8
1975 61.847.000 29.437.000 47,6 27.184.000 44,0
1980 61.538.000 28.748.000 46,7 26.104.000 42,4
1985 60.975.000 27.468.000 45,0 25.106.000 41,2
1990 63.254.000 27.537.000 43,5 25.156.000 39,7
1991** 79.984.000 28.198.000 35,3 29.202.000 36,5
1995 81.661.000 27.715.000 33,9 27.922.000 34,2
2000 82.188.000 26.817.000 32,6 26.614.000 32,4
2003 82.532.000 26.165.000 31,7 25.836.000 31,3
2005 82.438.000 25.870.000 31,4 25.386.000 30,8
2010 81.751.600 24.651.000 30,2 23.896.000 29,2

Source : Statistisches Bundesamt (ed.), Statistisches Jahrbuch 2011 : Für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Wiesbaden 2011 ; Statistisches Bundesamt (ed.) Datenreport 2006, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Bonn 2006 ; Sekretariat der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz (DBK), Bevölkerung und Katholiken in Deutschland 1950-2010 ; Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD), Statistik über die Äußerungen des kirchlichen Lebens in den Gliedkirchen der EKD im Jahr 2010, Hannover 2011 ; Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD), Statistik über die Äußerungen des kirchlichen Lebens in den Gliedkirchen der EKD im Jahr 2005, Hannover 2006.
* 1961 value
** From 1991, includes values for East Germany

Number of Catholics, Protestants and others*

JPEG - 38.6 ko

Percentage of Catholics, Protestants and others* in total population

JPEG - 54.8 ko

* Others include those not affiliated with any religion.
Source : Statistisches Bundesamt (ed.), Statistisches Jahrbuch 2011 : Für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Wiesbaden 2011 ; Statistisches Bundesamt (ed.) Datenreport 2006, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Bonn 2006 ; Sekretariat der
Deutschen Bischofskonferenz (DBK), Bevölkerung und Katholiken in Deutschland 1950-2010 ; Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD), Statistik über die Äußerungen des kirchlichen Lebens in den Gliedkirchen der EKD im Jahr 2010, Hannover 2011 ; Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD), Statistik über die Äußerungen des kirchlichen Lebens in den Gliedkirchen der EKD im Jahr 2005, Hannover 2006.

D 26 juillet 2012    AMatthias Koenig ASabine Trittler

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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