About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Your first visit?
Contact us
External links
Good books
Visitor essays
Our forum
New essays
Other site features
Buy a CD
Vital notes

World religions
Who is a Christian?
Shared beliefs
Handle change
Bible topics
Bible inerrancy
Bible harmony
Interpret Bible
Beliefs, creeds
Da Vinci code
Revelation, 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing religions


About all religions
Important topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handle change
Confusing terms
World's end
One true religion?
Seasonal topics
Science v. Religion
More info.

Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten commandm'ts
Assisted suicide
Death penalty
Equal rights - gays & bi's
Gay marriage
Origins of the species
Sex & gender
Spanking kids
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news


Religious Tolerance logo

Religious practices and information

How many people outside of North
go regularly to religious services?

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule

World-wide data:

The Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan periodically conducts the World Values Survey. It polls a statistically valid sample of adults from a total of 60 nations. Some of their findings from their 1995-1997 survey:

bulletThe United States has a higher level of church attendance than any other country which is "at a comparable level of development."
bullet53% of Americans consider religion to be very important in their lives. This compares with 16% in Britain, 14% in France and 13% in Germany.
bulletThe importance of religion has been declining in developed countries.
bulletIn those countries which are "experiencing economic stagnation and political uncertainty," the importance of religion is high.

Political scientist Ronald Inglehart, one of the authors of the Institute's 1998 survey commented: "Although church attendance is declining in nearly all advanced industrial societies, spiritual concerns more broadly defined are not. In fact, in most industrial societies, a growing share of the population is spending time thinking about the meaning and purpose of life." 1

horizontal rule

Percent of adults who attend religious services at least once a week: 

In order of decreasing attendance:

Country % Attendance
Nigeria 89%
Ireland 84% *
Philippines 68%
N. Ireland 58%
Puerto Rico 52%
South Africa 56%
Poland 55%
Portugal 47% *
Slovakia 47%
Mexico 46%
Italy 45% *
Dominican Republic 44%
Belgium 44%
United States 44%
Turkey 43%
Peru 43%
India 42%
Canada 38% *
Brazil 36%
Netherlands 35%
Venezuela 31%
Uruguay 31%
Austria 30% *
Britain 27% *
Chile 25%
Argentina 25%
Spain 25%
Solvenia 22%
Croatia 22%
Hungary 21% *
France 21% *
Romania 20% *
Switzerland 16%
Australia 16%
Lithuania 16%
South Korea 14%
W. Germany 14%
Czech Republic 14% *
Taiwan 11%
Bulgaria 10% *
Ukraine 10%
Moldova 10%
Georgia 10%
China 9%
Armenia 8%
Serbia 7%
Montenegro 7%
Azerbaijan 6%
Belarus 6%
Latvia 5%
Denmark 5% *
Norway 5%
East Germany 5%
Sweden 4%
Iceland 4%
Finland 4%
Estonia 4%
Japan 3%
Russia 2%

* Based on 1990-1991 survey data.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule

These numbers are somewhat suspect. Church attendance data in the U.S. has been checked against actual values using two different techniques. The true figures show that only about 20% of Americans and 10% of Canadians actually go to church one or more times a week. Many Americans and Canadians tell pollsters that they have gone to church even though they have not. Whether this happens in other countries, with different cultures, is difficult to predict.

The Institute's 1998 study involved almost 166,000 people. They found that church attendance was in decline in 15 of 19 industrialized democracies. Only two showed small increases: Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Attendance in East Germany continues to decline, having dropped from 20% in 1991 to 9% in 1998. Five of eight ex-communist societies show an increase in church attendance. 2

horizontal rule

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Diane Swanbrow, "Study of worldwide rates of religiosity, church attendance," University of Michigan news release at: http://www.umich.edu/
  2. Maranatha Christian Journal, "Study: Fewer Americans Seek Spiritual Answers From Church," at: http://www.mcjonline.com/

horizontal rule

Site navigation:

 Home page > Christianity > History, beliefs, practices > here

or Home page > Religious info. > Basic info > here

horizontal rule

Copyright © 1999 to 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Latest update: 2007-AUG-10
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or to the Religious Practices menu, or to the Basic religious information menu, or choose:

Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.