Religious Adherents, 2010 (World Christian Database)1
The country has an area of 32,369 square miles and a population of 8.3 million. During previous reporting periods the country experienced some immigration from countries such as Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which increased the number of Muslims. The Muslim community more than doubled between 1991 and 2001 to 339,000, or 4.2 percent of the population. Estimates for 2007 indicate that there are approximately 400,000 Muslims in the country. In recent reporting periods immigration has slowed down due to the gradual introduction of a quota system in the late 1990s.
According to the 2001 census, membership in major religious groups is as follows: Roman Catholic Church, 74 percent; Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches (Evangelical Church-Augsburger and Helvetic confessions), 4.7 percent; Muslim community, 4.2 percent; Jewish community, 0.1 percent; Eastern Orthodox (Russian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian, and Bulgarian), 2.2 percent; other Christian churches, 0.9 percent; and other non-Christian religious groups, 0.2 percent. Atheists account for 12 percent, and 2 percent do not indicate a religious affiliation.
According to a poll by the German market research institute FESSEL-GfK conducted in June and July 2007, 81 percent of respondents state that they belong to a church or religious group. Of that number, 2 percent attend services more than once a week, 10 percent attend weekly, 9 percent attend a minimum of once a month, 26 percent attend several times a year (on special occasions), and 53 percent nearly never attend.
The provinces of Carinthia (10.3 percent) and Burgenland (13.3 percent) have higher percentages of Protestants than the national average of 4.7 percent. The number of Muslims is higher than the national average of 4.2 percent in Vienna (7.8 percent) and the province of Vorarlberg (8.4 percent), where industry draws a disproportionately higher number of guest workers from Turkey and the former Yugoslavia.
The vast majority of groups termed "sects" by the Government are small organizations with fewer than one hundred members. Among the larger groups is the Church of Scientology, which claims between 5,000 and 6,000 members, and the Unification Church, with approximately 700 adherents. Other groups termed "sects" include Divine Light Mission, Eckankar, Hare Krishna, the Holosophic Community, the Osho Movement, Sahaja Yoga, Sai Baba, Sri Chinmoy, Transcendental Meditation, Center for Experimental Society Formation, Fiat Lux, Universal Life, and The Family.
Note: The World Christian Database (WCD) estimates, used in the Religious Adherents section above, count each person as belonging to a maximum of one religious group. For more information, see the WCD methodology document. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom report estimates, used in the Religious Demography section, use less restrictive criteria in which a person who identifies with more than one religion is classified as a follower of each. In certain cases (such as Japan and other nations with strong folk religion traditions), this can cause counts to vary widely between estimates. Users are advised to consult the relevant source documents before determining which counts to cite.
1. The World Christian Database (WCD) is based on the 2600-page award-winning World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends, first published in 1982 and revised in 2001. This extensive work on World religion is now completely updated and integrated into the WCD online database. Designed for both the casual user and research scholar, information is readily available on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demographic statistics. Additional secular data is incorporated on population, health, education, and communications. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.
2. 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.