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Statistical timeseries on church life from 1949 to 2010

Resource Type
  • Pollack, Detlef (Lehrstuhl für Religionssoziologie. Exzellenzcluster Religion und Politik. Universität Münster.)
  • Krüggeler, Michael (Wiss. Mitarbeiter am Centrum für Religion und Moderne (CRM) der WWU Münster (1.3.2014-28.02.2015))
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    Subject of the Study: Church statistical data are offered as long time series. The data are on the following topics: life events in the church (membership, entries and exits, church weddings, etc.), church personnel, and additionally data on socio-economic indicators (population-structure, family-structures, GDP, income development, tertiarisation, urbanisation, etc.) The primary investigators Pollack and Krueggeler specify their research question as follows: They dwell on a publication of Franz-Xaver Kaufmann, who stated a significant weakening of religious traditions for both great denominations in Germany. He associates this development with modernizing living conditions. The researchers Pollack and Krueggeler dedicated themselves to analyze this statement of Kaufmann. They compiled time series for Germany for the period from 1949 until 2010 for enabeling the correlation of data on church life with data on socio-economic trends in Germany. Using this data compilation, a detailed description of the large Christian Churches’ development is possible. Additionally, key determinants of religious change in modern societies can be analyzed in detail, namely for West Germany, the former German Democratic Republic, and for Germany after reunification as well. Thus, a further data compilation is provided for the analysis of and the discussion on secularization in the context of modernization and individualization. Two further remarks should be done in this context: a) On the one hand in this data compilation the variables of ecclesiality and religiosity are mainly dependent variables. The reversed aspect of church influence on societal developments is therefore systematically underestimated. Such a perspective is primarily due to the information gathered here and it is not based on any kind of a theoretical intention. The authors point out, that for the reversal of this perspective other sufficient data, materials, and analysis are available. b) The time period of 1949 to 2010 is not sufficient for the analysis of historical long-termed processes. If religious factors are one of the most effective factors in the longer term in the context of societal development, they could only be understood adequately in a long-term perspective. Therefore, historical traditions, which go far back to the 19th century, must be considered for the adequate understanding of the recent development of the two major churches. Time and Territory of Investigation: 1949 to 2010 for the territory of the former German Democratic Republic (East-Germany), the former territory of the Federal Republic of Germany (West-Germany), and for the reunified Germany in the borders after the 3rd October 1990. Sources: Each table contains detailed references to the data presented in it. In the case of some tables also detailed annotations are given to sources and data, which can be found in the source- and note part of the study description. In this case, in the table header there is a detailed indication of the study description (Ausführlich siehe in der Studienbeschreibung unter ´Verwendete Quellen´ / Ausführlich siehe in der Studienbeschreibung unter ´Anmerkungen´. = In detail, refer to the study description under ´Used resources´ / In detail, refer to the study description under ´Remarks´). The used sources specified in the tables are listed again bibliographically in an overview. This overview contains the different sources and publications which have been used by the authors for their data collection. The data has been mainly collected from the editions of the Church Yearbook of the Evangelical Church (Kirchliches Jahrbuch für die Evangelische Kirche (KJb)) and from the Church Handbook of the Catholic Chirch (Kirchliches Handbuch der Katholischen Kirech (KH)). These are church-own surveys at the level of parishes and regional churches or dioceses. The data are supplemented with statistics of the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, with data of the statistical online portal ‘statista’, and with data of scientific publications. A detailed description of the object of investigation, the characteristics of the used sources, the survey methods, as well as a detailed source- and annotation list is available via the downloadable PDF-Document. Data tables in histat (Topic: Population): 1. Church Life 1.01 Church Membership / Religious Affiliation 1.02 Joinings, Rejoinings and Leavings 1.03 Official Church Acts or Occasional Services: Baptisms 1.04 Official Church Acts or Occasional Services: Confirmation/ First Communion 1.05 Official Church Acts or Occasional Services: Wedding 1.06 Official Church Acts or Occasional Services: Burials 1.07 Church Visits on Sundays 2. Church Personnel 2.01 Protestant Church 2.02 Catholic Church 3. Socio-Economic Variables 3.01 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 3.02 Income Development and Employment 3.03 Tertiarisation 3.04 Urbanisation 3.05 Expenditure on Social Security Systems 3.06 Social Inequality 3.07 Structure of Population and of Families 3.08 Agestructure 3.09 Divorces 3.10 Education
Temporal Coverage
  • 1949-01-01 / 2010-12-31
    1949 to 2010
Geographic Coverage
  • Former Federal Republic of Germany (West-Germany), territory until the 3rd October 1990. Former German Democratic Republic (East-Germany). Germany in the borders of 3rd October 1990.
  • Germany (DE)
  • German Democratic Republic (1949-1990) (DDDE)
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 1701
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8629 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Online-Publikation: Pollack, Detlef; Krüggeler, Michael (2016): Kirchenstatistische Zeitreihen von 1949 bis 2010. GESIS Datenarchiv, Köln. histat. ZA8629 Datenfile Version 1.0.0.

Update Metadata: 2017-12-29 | Issue Number: 5 | Registration Date: 2016-10-05

Pollack, Detlef; Krüggeler, Michael (2016): Kirchenstatistische Zeitreihen von 1949 bis 2010. Version: 1.0.0. GESIS Datenarchiv. Dataset.