Norway
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Protestant

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Protestant (incl. Anglican, Pentecostal) (79.1%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Norway Northern Europe World
Christian (all denominations combined) 86.6% 65.4% 29.9%
 
  • Protestant
  • 77.2% 23.2% 5.6%
     
  • Catholic
  • 2.1% 12.4% 15%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 1.9% 1.7% 2.8%
     
  • Orthodox
  • 0.3% 1.7% 3%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 5.1% 1.9% 2.3%
    Muslim (all denominations combined) 2.6% 4.1% 22.8%
     
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 2.3% 3.6% 19%
     
  • Shia Muslim
  • 0.3% 0.5% 3.4%
     
  • Other and Unknown Muslim
  • < 0.1% < 0.1% 0.3%
    Buddhist (all denominations combined) 0.5% 0.4% 6.6%
     
  • Theravada Buddhist
  • 0.2% --- 1.6%
     
  • Mahayana Buddhist
  • 0.1% 0.1% 4.3%
     
  • Other and Unknown Buddhist
  • 0.2% 0.3% 0.5%
    Hindu 0.2% 1% 14.5%
    Other Religionist 0.3% 0.3% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 6.9% 25.8% 12%
    Unknown 2.8% 2% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 150,000 square miles and a population of 4.75 million. Citizens are considered to be members of the state church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway, unless they explicitly state otherwise. For example, citizens may elect to associate themselves with another denomination, nonreligious organization (e.g., the Norwegian Humanist Association), or to have no religious affiliation at all. An estimated 82 percent of the population (3.9 million persons) nominally belongs to the state church. However, actual church attendance is quite low.

    Other religious groups operate freely and include various Protestant Christian denominations (174,000 members), Muslims (80,000), and Roman Catholics (51,500). Buddhists, Jews, Orthodox Christians, Sikhs, and Hindus are present in very small numbers, together constituting less than 1 percent of the population. The Norwegian Humanist Association--the only national organization for those who do not formally practice any religion, including atheists--has 79,722 registered members. The Government estimated that an additional 6.7 percent of the population (318,000 persons) does not formally practice religion. An unknown number of persons belong to religious institutions but do not formally register with the Government, so their numbers are not reflected in the statistics.

    The majority of European and American immigrants, who make up approximately 45 percent of the foreign-born population, are either Christian or nonreligious, with the exception of Muslim refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. Most non-Western immigrants practice Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, or Hinduism. Of religious minority members, 42 percent are concentrated in the Oslo metropolitan area, including 76 percent of Muslims and most of the Buddhist community.


    Sources

    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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions 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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    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.

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