Church membership decreases

Large priest shortage in the Norwegian ChurchIllustration.Myre church. Photo Wikipedia,

Last year, more than 3.7 million members were registered at the Norwegian Church. Over the last four years, the membership has decreased by almost 103,000.


The number of members now accounts for almost 71 percent of the country’s population. This is a decline of 4.6 percent over the last four years, according to the latest figures from Statistics Norway.

Senior Adviser Gunnar Westermoen in the Church Council’s Communication Department informs NTB that the membership rate is affected by the number of baptized, the number of deaths and the various corrections of errors in the Norwegian Church’s membership register.

A total of 30,331 children were baptized last year. In the period 2014 to 2017 this represents a decline of 6,241 children. Deaf children accounted for 53.6 percent of those born in 2017, a decline of 8.4 percent in the last four years.

The proportion of confirmed 15-year-olds was 35,519 last year, a decrease of 4,535 since 2014. The share was 57.9 percent, a decline of 5.7 percent between 2014 and 2017.

Also Church weddings and funerals show a decline. There were 7,331 wedding celebrations last year. A reduction of 890 in the last four years.

In the case of funerals, the figure was 35,998 in 2017. Here its a reduction of 1,245 since 2014. The figure for 2017 equals 88.2 percent, a slight decline of 2 percent in the period 2014 to 2017.

The decline also continues for worship services. Last year 61,000 were held, and in the last four years this service has been reduced by 3,048.

Participation in a total of over 5.4 million people in worship last year. Where that is a decline of half a million people over the past four years.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today