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God Returns to Europe The Demographic Revival of Religion in Europe?

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Presentation on theme: "God Returns to Europe The Demographic Revival of Religion in Europe?"— Presentation transcript:

1 God Returns to Europe The Demographic Revival of Religion in Europe?

2 Source: ‘The Moment of Truth’, Ha’aretz, 8 February 2007


4 Religious Fertility vs. Religious Decline "One of the most central injunctions of virtually all traditional religions is to strengthen the family, to encourage people to have children, to encourage women to stay home and raise children, and to forbid abortion, divorce, or anything that interferes with high rates of reproduction. As a result of these two interlocking trends, rich nations are becoming more secular, but the world as a whole is becoming more religious." (Norris and Inglehart 2004: 22-23, emphasis added)

5 Hypothesis: a combination of higher religious fertility and immigration will lead to a growth in the religious population (defined in terms of belief) that exceeds the net loss of communicants through religious apostasy.

6 USA: Denominational Projections to 2050

7 Zero Immigration Scenario

8 Fertility Differences, Austria

9 Results: Proportion Without Religion Assuming: Low secularization trend Constant secularization trend High secularization trend Austria, TFR 2001 Roman Catholics1.32 Protestants1.21 Muslims2.34 Others1.44 Without0.86 Total1.33

10 Methods Source: EVS / WVS & ESS + ethnic minority surveys Cohort Component Projection Parameters: Fertility & Switching (i.e. religious decline or revival) by age and sex, plus current Age/Sex Structure of Religious and Secular 'Populations' Mortality Rates assumed as standard

11 EVS Definition of Religiosity 'Are you a religious person'? 1.Yes 2.Not religious 3.Atheist A measure of belief, rather than affiliation or attendance Majority (50-60%) of W. Europeans believe, though few attend, i.e. Davie (1994) Believing Without Belonging




15 Religious-Nonreligious Fertility Differences In multivariate analysis, TFR difference of 15-20% across 10 W European countries, 10-15% across 6 'early secularising' countries Female preponderance in childbearing age range





20 '5 Minutes of Fame……'

21 Conclusion Northwest Europe (and probably all of western Europe) will likely be more religious in 2050 than in 2000 on current trends because: –Secularisation rates have slowed dramatically, to the point of stalling –Religious women have 10-20% higher fertility, all else equal –Immigrants are more religious than natives –Muslim immigrants in particular retain their religiosity into the second generation

22 What About the Muslim World? The religious cleavage between Islamists and Secular Nationalists/Socialists/Liberals is Paramount Q: Will higher fertility endow Islamists (or even the wider 'religious' population) with political leverage into the future? Berman & Stepanyan (2003) find a significant but modest link between Madrassa attendance and fertility in four countries I looked at WVS 1999-2000 dataset on 7-15 countries (depends on question) Aim is to determine parameters for population projections

23 Source: WVS 1999-2000. N = 2796 respondents in towns under 10,000 and 1561 respondents in cities over 100,000. Asked in Algeria, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Jordan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Egypt.

24 Source: 2000 WVS and World Bank. Religiosity and Fertility in Muslim Countries, 2000 Tanzania Jordan Egypt Algeria Bosnia Iran Azerbaijan '95-97 Bangladesh Albania 2000 Turkey Indonesia Pakistan Morocco Nigeria Uganda Albania '95-97

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