- Religious Freedom
- Religious Regulation
- Religious Support
- Public Opinion
Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic
Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (78.3%)
Religious Adherents, (2015)2
|Christian (all denominations combined)||80.4%||76.2%||29.9%|
|Muslim (all denominations combined)||2.7%||6.7%||22.8%|
|Not Religious (incl. Atheist)||16.5%||15.8%||12%|
The country has an area of 116,347 square miles and a population of 59.1 million. An estimated 87 percent of native-born citizens are nominally Catholic, but only 20 percent regularly participate in worship services. Other significant Christian communities include Orthodox, Jehovah's Witnesses, Assembly of God, the Confederation of Methodist and Waldensian Churches, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and other small Protestant groups. Non-Catholic Christian groups, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Baha'is, and Buddhists constitute less than 5 percent of the population and, with the exception of Jews, are mainly foreign-born. Immigration, both legal and illegal, continues to add large numbers of non-Christian residents, mainly Muslims, from North Africa, South Asia, Albania, and the Middle East. The Ministry of Interior reports that there are 258 places of Islamic worship (mainly "garage" mosques) and 628 Islamic associations concentrated in Lombardy, Veneto, Lazio, Emilia Romagna, and Tuscany. The Jewish community is estimated at 30,000 and maintains synagogues in 21 cities. The most recent data indicate that approximately 14 percent of the population identifies itself as either atheist or agnostic. (Numbers do not add up to 100 percent because of overlapping categories.)
1. The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.
2. The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.
3. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.