Steady decline in number of church attendances
Culture and recreation;Public sector
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Church of Norway2015



Steady decline in number of church attendances

A total of 5.8 million persons attended 62 000 services held by the Church of Norway in 2015. Attendance at services has remained below 6 million for the past three years.

Church of Norway - main figures
2015Change last 4 years
3 799 366-51 779
Baptized34 116-5 842
Baptized as a percentage of births57.8-8.6
Confirmed39 527-3 029
Confirmed as a percentage of persons 15-years old61.5-3.7
Church burials36 797-1 109
Church burials as a percentage of all deaths90.4-1.2
Church weddings7 834-764
Church services61 908-3 672
Participants in church services total5 770 032-495 229
Participants per church service93.2-2.3

Both the number of services and persons attending the services has declined in recent years. The reduction in attendance from 2014 to 2015 was 122 000 or 2 per cent. Sunday services had the greatest fall in attendance, with 104 000. On average, 93 people attended each service; the same as the years before.

In 2005, the total attendance at church services was 6.7 million, spread over 70 000 services. Attendance has fallen every year since 2005, except in 2011. Compared to the numbers in 2005, this represents a decline of almost a million.

The number of church baptisms has shown the same declining trend as previous years. A total of 34 100 baptisms were held by the Church of Norway in 2015; 900 fewer than the year before. The proportion of baptisms to births was 58 per cent; a fall from 59 per cent in 2014. The proportion of baptism to births has fallen every year since 2005, from 76 to 58 per cent.

A total of 39 500 youths were confirmed by the Church of Norway in 2015, which is a decline of 700. The proportion of 15 year-olds who were confirmed in 2015 was 62 per cent; one percentage point lower than 2014 and a fall from 66 per cent in 2005.

A total of 7 800 church weddings were conducted by the Church of Norway. This number represents 34.5 per cent of all weddings in Norway in 2015.

Church congregations are also engaged in training and deaconry, and other internal activities. Almost 22 000 participated in baby and toddler singing groups, and 17 000 children received the book for 4-year-olds. The churches host a variety of concerts and cultural arrangements, with a total of 1.7 million participants in 2015. The Church received NOK 305 million in collections and donations in 2015.

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 2015 was 1 224. The number has fallen every year in recent years due to the merging of parishes.