New Times, Old Beliefs: Projecting the Future Size of Religions in Austria, Canada and Switzerland

Anne Goujon, Vienna Institute of Demography and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Vegard Skirbekk, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Katrin Fliegenschnee, Vienna Institute of Demography

Western Europe and North America have experienced a reshaping of religious landscapes in the last decades: a decline in religious beliefs (secularization) and a depolarization of the society from the dominance of one or two religions (mostly the Protestant and/or Roman Catholic Church) to a more plural religious society, with an increasing weight of other religious groups, mostly due to immigration. In this study we project the future of the religious composition in three countries: Austria, Canada, and Switzerland. These countries have large, rich individual-based datasets on religious beliefs through several rounds of censuses. They also have enough commonalities and divergence to allow a meaningful comparative analysis. We base our analysis on scenarios based on past trends, where differential age-specific fertility, migration, secularization rates, as well as the probability of transmission from parents to children are examined.

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Presented in Poster Session 7