Church of Norway

Updated: 15 June 2023

Modified: 16 Jun 2023, 08:00:00

Next update: 15 March 2024

Members in Church of Norway
Members in Church of Norway
2022
3 500 438
Church of Norway - main figures
Church of Norway - main figures1
2022Change last 3 years
Members of the Church of Norway2 3 500 438-186 277
Members as a percentage of the population63.7-4.9
Baptized1 28 577566
Baptized as a percentage of births55.33.9
Confirmed32 716-1 797
Confirmed as a percentage of persons 15-years old49.8-4.6
Church burials38 0663 301
Church burials as a percentage of all deaths83.2-2.3
Church weddings7 3941 180
Church services57 584-2 582
Participitations in church services, total4 199 104-1 049 965
Participants per church service72.9-14.3
1Baptized from 2016 and onward shows the total number of baptized. The number cannot be compared to previous year's numbers because they showed performed acts of baptize.
2Up to and including 2020 the variable included members of the Church of Norway as well as not baptized child (until 18 year) of a parent who is a member. From 2021 the variable only includes members of the Church of Norway.
The number of members of the Church of Norway and the number of baptized were corrected 16 June 2023.
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • Church of Norway. Church services and participants, by diocese
    Church of Norway. Church services and participants, by diocese
    Services totalParticipitations, totalChurch services sundays and holidaysParticipitations in church services sundays and holidaysChurch services except sundays and holidaysParticipitations in church services except sundays and holidaysServices with communionParticipants communionChristmas Eve servicesParticipitations Christmas Eve services
    202257 5844 199 10444 0753 166 06013 5091 033 04427 783901 0082 297378 941
    202151 2802 360 82840 2401 890 87511 040469 95318 800480 5052 211106 388
    202048 4832 360 70338 0241 927 05010 459433 65317 927555 7242 282117 864
    201960 1665 249 06944 8033 994 22115 3631 254 84832 6271 311 1082 352539 647
    201860 3965 318 19345 1224 076 20915 2741 241 98432 4591 291 2572 347537 027
    201761 0005 454 82645 5004 194 79315 5001 260 03332 7911 305 1202 314559 807
    2022
    Oslo5 489447 1473 990327 6561 499119 4913 567151 89819347 629
    Borg6 164451 3914 684332 0801 480119 3113 165105 61724937 483
    Hamar5 450309 2834 382241 0951 06868 1882 49550 40323229 063
    Tunsberg5 000336 7983 815261 3411 18575 4572 50474 46821636 107
    Agder og Telemark6 425491 5315 175391 3061 250100 2252 505106 20623748 679
    Stavanger5 150511 6574 021398 6491 129113 0082 383119 24120944 756
    Bjørgvin7 794576 5586 042444 1931 752132 3653 722113 28432250 615
    Møre3 443273 8912 782199 90766173 9841 73856 13013220 577
    Nidaros5 633384 5613 865266 4941 768118 0672 11252 45021529 041
    Sør-Hålogaland3 216193 9582 579148 48663745 4721 59733 82214018 596
    Nord-Hålogaland3 820222 3292 740154 8531 08067 4761 99537 48915216 395
    Explanation of symbols
  • Church of Norway. Members and church ceremonies, by diocese
    Church of Norway. Members and church ceremonies, by diocese
    Members of the Church of NorwayEnrolledResignedBaptizedConfirmedChurch weddingsChurch burials
    20223 500 4382 47416 55428 47932 7167 39438 066
    20213 526 1332 37914 85227 13933 6124 85135 229
    20203 655 5562 34312 65323 82233 0834 39434 605
    20193 686 7153 35319 03728 01134 5136 21434 765
    20183 724 8572 09611 87728 59735 2487 04835 683
    20173 740 9202 44315 42430 33135 5197 33135 998
    2022
    Oslo431 0334282 8973 4812 9986754 034
    Borg460 6953142 3123 3574 0599354 909
    Hamar291 9651571 0502 0532 5156693 933
    Tunsberg325 2422341 5842 2422 6177453 928
    Agder og Telemark313 2953311 4622 5623 0618403 616
    Stavanger318 9892501 6923 0463 6437442 989
    Bjørgvin451 8992521 9644 0184 7309384 688
    Møre201 4581266251 7322 3813992 216
    Nidaros342 4381911 6483 0413 3076933 450
    Sør-Hålogaland182 189776871 4491 7593782 221
    Nord-Hålogaland177 2361146331 4981 6463782 082
    Unknown diocese3 9991898000
    The number of members of the Church of Norway, the number enrolled, the number of resigned and the number of baptized have been corrected 16 June 2023.
    Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The annual church statistics give a summary of the Church of Norway activity in parishes/municipalities. These statistics are published at by diocese and municipality. The statistics give information about church rituals such as baptisms, confirmations, weddings, burials and church service attendance.

Members and Affiliates

Until 2020, the variable included both members and affiliates of the Church of Norway. Starting from 2021 the variable only includes members of the Church of Norway.

Baptized

Baptized includes both infant and adult baptisms. Baptism figures from 2016 onwards show the total number of baptisms. Therefore, the number cannot be compared with previous years' indicators, as they reflected performed baptismal acts.

Marriages

Includes only church weddings performed by the Church of Norway.

Funerals

Funerals are a general term for the process that takes place when the deceased is to be buried. A funeral can take place through cremation or coffin burial.

Name: Church of Norway

Topic: Culture and recreation

15 March 2024

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

The lowest publishing level at Statistics Norway is municipality. Data is also published for counties, KOSTRA groups, and dioceses.

The statistics are published annually and apply to the previous year.

Publication at the municipality, county, and KOSTRA group levels in connection with KOSTRA publication occurs with preliminary figures on March 15 and final figures on June 15.

Publication at the diocese level takes place on June 15.

Not relevant

Collected and revised data are stored securely by Statistics Norway in compliance with applicable legislation on data processing.

Statistics Norway can grant access to the source data (de-identified or anonymised microdata) on which the statistics are based, for researchers and public authorities for the purposes of preparing statistical results and analyses. Access can be granted upon application and subject to conditions. Refer to the details about this at Access to data from Statistics Norway.

The purpose of the statistics is to provide information about the activities in the parishes of the Church of Norway. The Church of Norway National Council is the principal and finances the statistics.

Older history and statistics can be found on the Church of Norway's website, statistics from 1950 "Kirken i tall" (NO, kirken.no).

From 1998 up to and including the statistical year 2004 the annual statistics were collected on paper forms by Norwegian Center for Research Data and published in the Ecclesiastical Database. Church statistics in the Church Database are published at the parish level.

Starting from the statistical year 2005, reporting of the Annual Statistics for the Church of Norway is done electronically using the KOSTRA form to Statistics Norway.

Important users of the church statistics is the Ministry of Culture, Church of Norway National Council, other organisations related to the Church of Norway, as well as for researchers and media.

No external users have access to statistics before they are released at 8 a.m. on ssb.no after at least three months’ advance notice in the release calendar. This is one of the most important principles in Statistics Norway for ensuring the equal treatment of users.

Church statistics are also relevant in connection with other statistics in Statistics Norway. Such as the statistics for Religious communities and life stance communities, Church account statistics for the joint parish councils and the Employment statistics.

The statistics are developed, produced and disseminated pursuant to Act no. 32 of 21 June 2019 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act).

The statistics are part of the national program for official statistics 2024–2027, main area Culture and Leisure, sub-area Religion and Beliefs.

Law of April 24, 2020, No. 31 on religious and belief communities (Religious Communities Act).

Not relevant

This statistics includes all geographical parishes in the Church of Norway, not included Svalbard. The statistics do not include church affairs aboard or at institutions as hosptital and prisons, the church for the deaf, army chaplains and others having their own registers. Every parochial church council in cooperation with the vicar is responsible for reporting the data. The reporting unit is the parishes. The annual statistics include information on the number of baptisms, confirmations, enrolments and resignations of Church membership, number of services, congregation numbers, communicant numbers, collection takings, activities for children and teenagers, diaconal and ecumenical work in the parishes, cultural work etc. The main point of the statistics is the activity that the vicars, the parochial church council and the employed are responsible to.

The reporting unit for the statistics is the parishes. The observation unit is also the parishes. The analysis unit is the municipality, county, KOSTRA group, and diocese.

Data Sources

Data are primarily collected through the KOSTRA form 28, Annual Statistics for the Church of Norway. The statistics also utilize data from the Business and Enterprise Register, Municipal Accounts, Religious and Belief Communities outside the Church of Norway, and the membership register of the Church of Norway. Data from the Church of Norway's membership register are collected at the municipal level and do not contain personally sensitive information.

Sampling

Complete count. The statistics are a census among all geographic parishes registered in the Business and Enterprise Register in the relevant reporting year.

In recent years, there has been a slight decrease in the number of units in the statistics. The reason for the reduction in units in the statistics is due to parish mergers, partly permanent mergers, and partly experimental arrangements. All parishes have reported in recent years.

Data Collection

Electronic forms are submitted to Statistics Norway from each parish. The reporting period begins in early January, and the reporting deadline is January 20 or the first working day after this date. Corrections to submitted data and any late submissions can occur until the publication of preliminary figures (March 15) and final figures (June 15).

Editing

Editing is defined here as checking, examining and amending data.

The electronic forms have several built-in checks during registration, including logical checks and checks against the previous year's reporting. After Statistics Norway receives the form, the information is verified and edited at Statistics Norway before compilation and publication.

Calculations

The statistics on the Church of Norway are a summary complete count of the parishes under the Church of Norway. Beyond summarizing the reports and ensuring that all parishes are included in the calculations, no specific analyses are conducted.

Not relevant

Employees of Statistics Norway have a duty of confidentiality.

Statistics Norway does not publish figures if there is a risk of the respondent’s contribution being identified. This means that, as a general rule, figures are not published if fewer than three units form the basis of a cell in a table or if the contribution of one or two respondents constitutes a very large part of the cell total.

Statistics Norway can make exceptions to the general rule if deemed necessary to meet the requirements of the EEA agreement, if the respondent is a public authority, if the respondent has consented to this, or when the information disclosed is openly accessible to the public.

More information can be found on Statistics Norway’s website under Methods in official statistics, in the ‘Confidentiality’ section.

During the transition of reporting to Statistics Norway in 2005, a new form was developed. The new form includes developments and simplifications of question formulations, which may result in some differences compared to previously recorded statistics. For instance, in the new form, it is generally expected that religious ceremonies should be registered only in the parish where the ceremony took place. This may have some impact at the municipal level, but at the national level, there will be better continuity. Some information from the old form has been omitted, and new information has been added. The most important details in the form have been retained to ensure continuity from the previous statistics.

The Church of Norway adopted a new digital tool for membership registration and withdrawal in 2016. This led to high numbers of withdrawals in 2016.

The affiliation arrangement was discontinued with the introduction of the Law of April 24, 2020, No. 31 on religious and belief communities (Religious Communities Act). Therefore, affiliated individuals are not considered in the membership figures from the 2021 data onwards, which may affect the comparability of the statistics over time.

Coverage Errors

There is a low risk of over- or under-coverage. The Joint parish councils, accounts, and the Church of Norway National Council assist in creating and quality-checking the population under investigation.

Measurement and Processing Errors

There is some risk of measurement errors. Some questions in the form that parishes fill out may have ambiguities and can be interpreted differently between units. Continuous efforts are made to improve the form and reduce the likelihood of measurement errors. The form is developed in collaboration with the Church Council and the rest of the KOSTRA working group for churches and cemeteries (NO).

There is a low risk of processing errors because we receive the data electronically for each unit. Additionally, parishes can be contacted to verify the submitted data.

For data from the Church of Norway's membership register, the data is considered to be of good quality.

Dropout Errors

There is a risk of dropout errors as sometimes some parishes do not submit responses. Nevertheless, the dropout error is low, as units that have not submitted responses are contacted and asked to submit. There is very little partial dropout, as most questions in the form are mandatory to answer before the unit has the opportunity to submit. Dropout can be considered as a sampling error.

Sampling Error

Because this is a complete count of all parishes under the Church of Norway, dropout errors can be considered as sampling errors.

A revision is a planned change to figures that have already been published, for example when releasing final figures as a follow-up to published preliminary figures. See also Statistics Norway’s principles for revisions.

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