Religion in the EU: Only Germany is getting more religious

According to our recent EuroPulse survey, the religious breakdown of Europe is as follows: 42% of Europeans say they are Catholic, 8% Protestant, 3% Muslim, 1% Jewish, 1% Buddhist, 8% other, and 38% say they are not religious. The most Catholic countries are Italy (73%) and Poland (71%). France (58%) and the UK (54%) are the least religious countries of the six, while Germany has the most Protestants (26%) and France the most Muslims (7%).

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Religious Youth in Germany Overall, the results show that older Europeans are far more likely to identify as religious. In Europe as a whole, 57% of those aged 14-29 are religious compared to 63% of 30-49 year olds, and 67% of 50-65 year olds. This age gap is present in all 6 major EU countries except in Germany, where surprisingly, young people are more religious than older generations (64% vs. 58%).

25% of young Germans identify as Protestant compared with 25% of middle aged Germans, and 29% of older Germans. Additionally, the share of young Germans who identify as Catholic (24%) is only 2 percentage points below the share of middle aged and older Germans who are Catholic (26%). Germany also has a surge in Muslim youth: 10% of young Germans identify as Muslim, compared to 3% of those in the middle age range and 0% of the older age group.

Church Membership We also asked our respondents if they are a member of a ‘Church or other religious institution’. Poland (18%) and Germany (17%) have the highest share of individuals belonging to a church. France (3%) and Spain (4%) have the fewest church members.

Comparison with the US

Hopping across the pond you’ll find a much higher percentage of people who say they belong to a religious institution (29%). Additionally, Americans are more religious than Europeans (71% to 62%).