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Evolving religious configurations

French religious configurations have been undergoing a significant change since the 1970s. The European Values Survey shows a decline in religious affiliation with numbers falling from 73.7% to 50.5% in 2008.

19811990 19992008
Religious belonging 73,7 61,5 57,5 50,5
No religious belonging 26,3 38,5 42,5 49,5

The European Values Survey also observes a decline in the demographic statistics of the Catholic Church which was traditionally predominant in France. This diminution is accompanied by the increasing number of those without religious affiliations and a redistribution of affiliations in favour of Islam in particular, Protestantism (especially Evangelicalism) and Buddhism.

1981 1990 1999 2008
Catholic 95,6 94,0 91,8 85,7
Protestant 1,3 2,1 2,4 3,5
Jew 1,4 0,2 2,4 0,8
Orthodox 0,0 0,0 1,9 1,9
Buddhist 0,0 0,7 0,4 0,2
Muslim 0,6 1,6 0,2 7,4
Hindu 0,0 0,2 0,2 0,2
Other 1,2 1,3 0,7 1,0
Total 100% 100% 100% 100%

In 2008, the question which religious denomination do you belong to? provides the following numbers:

 % of answers  % of valid answers
Roman Catholic 43,0 85,7
Muslim 3,7 7,4
Protestant 1,8 3,5
Jew 0,4 0,8
Buddhist 0,4 0,7
Orthodox 0,4 0,7
Hindu 0,1 0,2
Jehova’s Witness 0,2 0,5
Other 0,3 0,6
NA 49,9 -
Total 100 100

D 9 June 2016    AAnne-Laure Zwilling

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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