Steady decline in number of church baptisms
Culture and recreation;Public sector
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Church of Norway2014



Steady decline in number of church baptisms

A total of 35 100 persons were baptised by the Church of Norway in 2014. This number represents a fall of 4.2 per cent compared to the previous year. During the last four years, the number of baptisms declined by 15 per cent.

Church of Norway - main figures
2014Change last 4 years
3 835 973496
Baptized35 051-6 049
Baptized as a percentage of births59.3-7.6
Confirmed40 253-1 728
Confirmed as a percentage of persons 15-years old62.9-2.4
Church burials36 430-1 860
Church burials as a percentage of all deaths90.2-2.1
Church weddings8 006-1 543
Church services63 022-2 630
Participants in church services total5 892 110-208 875
Participants per church service93.50.6

The number of church baptisms has the same declining trend as previous years. A total of 35 100 baptisms were held by the Church of Norway in 2014; 1 500 fewer than the year before. The proportion of baptisms to births was 59 per cent; a fall from 62 per cent in 2013. The proportion of baptism to births has fallen every year since 2008.

A total of 43 000 youths were confirmed by the Church of Norway in 2014. This number represents a slight increase compared to the previous year, and shows that 63 per cent of 15 year-olds still prefer a church confirmation. In 2014, the number of confirmations shows a slight increase. In spite of this rise, the proportion of 15 year-olds confirmed was 63 per cent in 2014; one percentage point lower compared to 2013.

A total of just below 6 million persons attended services held by the Church of Norway. On average, 93 attended each service; the same as the years before. A total of 63 000 services were held; about 980 fewer than the year before.

Fewer parishes reportingOpen and readClose

The population covers all the registered geographical parishes in Norway during the relevant year. The parish is the basic unit in the Church of Norway. The number of parishes reporting in 2013 was 1 235. The number has fallen every year in recent years due to the merging of parishes.