Survey Reveals Decline in Official Religious Affiliation

January 30, 2003

Source: swissinfo

On January 30, 2003 swissinfo reported, "The religious landscape in Switzerland has undergone a sea change, with a growing number of people moving away from organised forms of religion. According to the most recent census, over 11 per cent of Swiss have no religious affiliation - a rise of ten per cent in just 30 years. The results of the 2000 survey revealed that most people in this category were aged between 30 and 50, lived in cities and were more likely to be men than women. The Federal Office of Statistics, which published the figures on Thursday, said there was also a marked regional contrast, with French-speaking cantons claiming the greatest number of non-religious people. Christianity remains the most widely-followed religion in Switzerland, with 40 per cent of the population defining themselves as Roman Catholics and 33 per cent as Protestants...Orthodox Christians and non-Christian religious account for some seven per cent of the population, a rise of just under four per cent since 1990. The latter include Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Muslims make up the largest non-Christian community, with 311,000 devotees. They include many Albanians from Kosovo and Macedonia."