Religious communities and life stance communities

Updated: 5 June 2023

Next update: Not yet determined

Members of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway
Members of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway
2023
724 803
Members of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway, by religion/life stance. Per 1 January
Members of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway, by religion/life stance. Per 1 January
2023Percentage change
MembersPer cent2022 - 20232019 - 2023
Total724 803100.03.56.8
Baha'ism1 0670.10.5-4.6
Buddism22 2123.11.05.6
Hinduism13 1411.84.015.2
Islam182 60725.23.74.0
Judaism7550.11.9-6.7
Christianity376 55552.00.82.9
Sikhism4 3160.60.08.3
Philosophy120 72616.713.025.4
Other religious and philosophical communities3 4240.511.740.4
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • Members1 of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway, by religion/life stance. Per 1 January. Figures and per cent
    Members1 of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway, by religion/life stance. Per 1 January. Figures and per cent
    20222023
    Members in religious and philosophical communitiesPer centMembers in religious and philosophical communitiesPer cent
    Total700 369100.0724 803100.0
    Baha'ism1 0620.21 0670.1
    Buddism21 9963.122 2123.1
    Hinduism12 6401.813 1411.8
    Islam176 08925.1182 60725.2
    Judaism7410.17550.1
    Christianity373 65253.4376 55552.0
    Sikhism4 3180.64 3160.6
    Life stance106 80715.3120 72616.7
    Other religious and philosophical communities3 0640.43 4240.5
    Explanation of symbols
  • Number of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway, by religion/lfe stance. Per 1. January
    Number of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway, by religion/lfe stance. Per 1. January
    Number of religious and life stance communities
    20222023
    All739740
    Baha'ism11
    Buddism2323
    Hinduism1919
    Islam259263
    Judaism22
    Christianity400399
    Sikhism54
    Philosophy1312
    Other religious and philosophical communities1717
    Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The statistics show how many people are members of religious and life stance communities other than the Church of Norway and requests funding. Statistics on religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway are based on reports from the County Governor for communities applying for funding.

Main direction

3-digit code for main direction of religion or life stance community, see Standard classifications.

Standard for Tros- og livssynssamfunn

Classifications for this statistics are based on the application form from the communities. Statistics Norway has been responsible for the categorization of communities at the organizational level, partly based on the new application form as well as the old form. Numeric codes are made as a help to IT-work.

Name: Religious communities and life stance communities
Topic: Culture and recreation

Not yet determined

Division for education and culture statistics

National level

This statistic is published yearly, and is published the same year to which it is applies.

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 main purpose of these statistics is to show how many people are members of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway that request funding. Statistics on religious and life stance outside the Church of Norway are based on reports from the County Governor sent to Brønnøysund Register Centre (BRC) for communities applying for funding.

Before 1970, Statistics Norway published tables showing members of religious communities based on census data.

Statistics Norway has published official statistics of how many members in religious and life stance communities since 1971 based on reports from the County Governor, in connection with the allocation of funding.

BRC established a new system to register the number of members in 2005. This became the basis for this statistics from that point, as Statistics Norway gets the data from BRC.

As of 2021 municipality was not included in the data Statistics Norway received. Therefore, it is not possible to divide this statistics into counties. Also, as of 2021 a minimum number of members of 50 is required to be eligible to receive funding.

Previously, the following acts applied:

Religious community: Approved religious community according to act of 13 June 1969.

Life stance community: Approved life stance community according to act of 12 June 1981.

Ministry of Children and Families, Ministry of Culture and Equality, research institutions, religious and life stance communities, media and students.

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.

This statistics can be seen in connection with statistics on Church of Norway.

It can also be seen in connection with the numbers at the Government webpages (regjeringen.no) about religious and life stance communities who apply for funding. In addition it can also be seen in connection with the numbers the County Governor publishes on their webpages (truoglivssyn.statsforvalteren.no) about which communities receive funding.

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).

This statistic is a part of the National programme for official statistics 2024–2027, domain Culture and recreation, subdomain Religion and life stance.

Not relevant

All religious and life stance communities that have been approved by the County Governor and which apply for funding are represented in the statistics. The statistical unit is the community itself. According to the law all religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway have the same right to apply for funding, but some communities do not make use of this right. An example of community that might not apply for funding is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Communities not applying for subsidy one year are not represented in the statistics for that year. This statistic does not include information on the number of congregations.

The reporting units are the communities them selves. The observation unit is also the community. The unit of analysis is the main direction of religion or life stance.

The data source for this statistic is electronic data from Brønnøysund Register Centre (BRC). As of 2005 the lists of members of religious and life stance communities that applied for funding through the County Governor were sent to BRC to be checked. After the checks are done by BRC, Statistics Norway receives the data. The data includes organisation number for the communities that apply for funding and the number of subsidizing members, but does not include personal information like social security numbers.

Collection of data

Data is sent electronically from Brønnøysund Register Centre (BRC) to Statistics Norway when they have carried out the necessary checks of the lists of members they received from the County Governor. The collection period is from January 1st until the deadline for applying for funding March 1st.

Editing

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

BRC is in charge of the checks on behalf of the Ministry for Children and Families. BRC carries out the necessary checks of organisation number and social security numbers, so that the data does not include duplicates. The checks mainly checks for dual membership (on individual level), against information from the National Registry, against other religious or life stance communities and against the membership registry of the Church of Norway. The data that Statistics Norway receives is a aggregated file that includes the number of members per community (organisation number).

Statistics Norway recodes the data based on main direction. New communities that apply for funding are discovered and coded with a main direction, while already existing communities are coded with the main direction they were coded with in previous years.

Estimations

This statistic is a summary statistic. This means the statistics and the tables only shows the sum of members on a national level, and divided into the different main directions. Apart from summarizing the reported figures for the individual year, no separate analyzes are carried out.

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.

Before 1970 Statistics Norway published tables of the number of members of religious communities based on census data. Statistics Norway has produced official statistics of the members of religious and life stance communities since 1971 based on reports from the County Governor in connection with the allocation of funding.

Brønnøysund Register Centre (BRC) established a new system to register the number of members in 2005. This became the basis for this statistics from that point, as Statistics Norway gets the data from BRC. Therefore it is not possible to directly compare the statistics with previous years.

Also, be aware of comparisons especially between the years 2005–2007, as work to clean up some dual membership was of particular interest these years.

As of 2006 the division by county was done by the municipality that the community was registered. This does not always coincide with the county of residence of the individual member.

As of 2021, municipality was no longer included in the data Statistics Norway received.Therefore, it is not possible to divide this statistics into counties. Also, as of 2021 a minimum number of members of 50 is required to be eligible to receive funding. This can affect the number of communities that decide to apply for funding.

Some communities are not included every year, and new communities apply. Be aware that because of changes like this from year to year one has to be cautious to directly compare over time and across main directions, as some variations can occur due to this.

Coverage error

There is little or no risk of over- or under-coverage. Everyone who applies for funding must per definition be included in the population for the statistics.

Measuring and processing error

There is little risk of measuring errors because the communities themselves have to submit membership lists, and Brønnøysund Register Centre (BRC) checks for dual membership. There is also little risk of processing errors because we receive aggregated figures for the communities sent electronically.

Omission error

There is little or no risk of omission error. Everyone who applies for funding must per definition be included in the population for the statistics.

Selection error

There is little or no risk of selection error. Everyone who applies for funding must per definition be included in the population for the statistics.

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.

Revisions are less frequent, and are done when necessary.

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