Diminution de l’appartenance religieuse, notamment chez les jeunes
Decline in religious affiliations is not an issue unique to the Catholic Church. It is a general problem since according to the European Value Survey, 57% of the French claimed to belong to a religion in 1999 whereas there were 62% in 1990.
The information concerning the youth rate of religious affiliation confirms this decline. Thus, the 1998 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP 1998) set up for religions notes that 58% of young adults (18-29) claim to have no religious affiliations.
The IFOP survey entitled The Catholics in France in 2010 also reveals that, if 30% of the French population is less than 25 years old, the number drops to 23% for Catholics (and 16% for practicing Catholics). Similarly, 42% of the overall population is more than 50 years old, versus 50% of Catholics and 55% of practicing Catholics.
The CSA survey The French and religion conducted in December 2004 already showed that 73% of French people claim to have religious affiliations, and that this number rises to 84.5% for people aged 75 years and above and declines to only 60.4% for youth between 18-24 years of age. This ageing was also observable with the IFOP - Okapi survey carried out on 14 December 2005 on a sample of 406 French adolescents within the age limit of 11-15. When responding to the question "personally, which religion do you belong to ?", it is notable that the proportion of youth claiming to be Catholics (52%) was lower compared to the total population (65%). On the other hand, the proportion of youth who claim to have no religious affiliations (34%) was higher compared to the total population (25%).