Fewer and fewer Norwegians believe in God, survey shows

Nidaros cathedral - churchPhoto: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix

The proportion of Norwegians who say they believe in God has dropped from 53% to 30% over the last 35 years.

The Norwegian Monitor 2020 survey continues to show declining support for religious belief in Norway. 

The proportion of those who say they believe in God has fallen by four percentage points since the last survey two years ago, and by a total of 23 percentage points since the survey began in 1985.

“The figures show a dramatic decline,” John Spilling, project manager at Norsk Monitor, published by Ipsos, told news bureau NTB in May.

The Norsk Monitor survey is conducted every other year and maps the change in values, attitudes, and behaviors over time in Norwegian society.

Decline strongest among Norwegian youth

In the survey, 48% answered “no” to the question of whether they believed in God. 

 A total of 30% answered “yes,” while 21% were uncertain. 

The proportion of those who said they believe in God was lowest in the age group of 25-39 years, with only 19% saying “yes.”

The proportion of those who view themselves as Christians has fallen from 24% to 21% over the past two years. 

In the long term, however, this proportion has remained stable and is now at the mid-1980s levels.

Although only 30% say that they believe in God, 61% state that they belong to the Christian faith. 

A total of 22% do not identify themselves with any beliefs, while 10% identify with the Norwegian Humanist Association. 

A total of 4% state that they belong to a different belief and 2% say they are uncertain.

Enger: Changes needed

Secretary-General of the Norwegian Humanist Association Trond Enger believes the figures show that there have been major demographic changes in the population and that politicians have not taken these into account.

“I call on the politicians to update their understanding of what Norwegians believe and do not believe, in order to create good policy for the future,” Enger said at the time.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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