Development of Church Members in Germany, 1956 - 2008.

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Eicken, Joachim
  • Schmitz – Veltin, Ansgar
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    The present study “shows the development of members of the protestant and the Roman Catholic Church in Germany and analyzes the importance of certain components of the membership development. The survey is based on data of the statistical office since the 1950s and on data of both churches (Protestant Church in Germany, Hannover, and German Bishops Conference, Bonn) on church life. The study aims to compile the membership development of both Christian churches in long time series, to analyze it systematically and to question, extent and quantify the thus far monocausal explanations for membership development. Since the late 1960s world trade and the related social changes, the immigration to Germany since the 1950s and the changes related to the German reunification and the European integration caused that both Christian churches in Germany got less important. Alternative religious communities emerged. Among those for example the Islam with about 4 Billion followers and small Free Church communities play a more and more important role. The official statistic has no or little data about those religious communities; therefor the survey concentrates on two National Christian Churches” (Eicken, J. /Schmitz-Veltin, A., 2010, a. a. O., p. 577). Compared to the discussion about leaving the church the public discussion pays little attention to demographic factors of membership development. The present study aims to show that the membership development is not only characterized by persons leaving, but that structure elements have an important impact, too. These “effects are not least based on the long term development of birth rates and the resulting surpluses of deaths as well as the changes of values concerning baptism. These processes together lead to a less important role of church in society.” (Eicken, J./Schmitz-Veltin, A., 2010, a. a. O., S. 576f). Data tables in HISTAT: A.1 Population in Germany by religious orientations and membership development of both National Churches (1956-2008)
Temporal Coverage
  • 1956 / 2008
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 16
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8586 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Eicken, J. / Schmitz – Veltin, A., 2010: Die Entwicklung der Kirchenmitglieder in Deutschland, in: Statistisches Bundesamt (Hrsg.), 2010: Wirtschaft und Statistik 6/2010, S. 576 – 589.

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 19 | Registration Date: 2014-12-05