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Une Église catholique toujours majoritaire, mais une appartenance en baisse

France remains a predominantly catholic country since more than half the population claims to belong to this religion. In 2010, IFOP conducted a survey entitled "Catholics in France in 2010". It confirms the observation of the diminution of the number of Catholics in the French population since the 1970s already undermined by this research institute in 2006.

Year 1972 1978 1987 2001 2006 2010
Percentage of Catholics 87 76 75 69 65 64

The results of the survey conducted by the CSA also show a decreasing number of Catholics. A CSA survey carried out by telephone for La Vie and Le Monde newspapers, on 21 March 2003, based on a national sample of 1000 people indicates a decrease in affiliation between 1994 and 2003. Another CSA survey conducted in 2006 for La Vie entitled "The portrait of Catholics" seems to confirm this downturn. The CSA recommends nevertheless that these results be cautiously viewed as the formulation and interpretation of the matter differ with surveys.

Year 1994 (CSA 2003) 2003 (CSA 2003) 2006 (CSA 2006)
Percentage of Catholics 67 62 51

In September 2012, 80% of French claimed themselves Catholics ; the number was 92% in 1961 (Ifop survey for La Croix, Catholicism, octobre 2012). Jérôme Fourquet and Hervé Le Bras have recently published La religion dévoilée. Une nouvelle géographie du catholicisme, 2014. This book offers a contemporary profile of French Catholics. It reveals both the lasting influence of the Catholic faith in France and the important diminishing of Catholic religious practice.

D 7 juillet 2014    AAnne-Laure Zwilling

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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