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Change in religious affiliations especially for youth

Decline in religious affiliations has for decades been not an issue unique to the Catholic Church. It has been a general problem since according to the European Value Survey, 57% of the French claimed to belong to a religion in 1999 whereas there were 62% in 1990.

The information concerning the youth rate of religious affiliation confirms this decline. Thus, the 1998 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP 1998) set up for religions notes that 58% of young adults (18-29) claim to have no religious affiliations.
The IFOP survey entitled The Catholics in France in 2010 also reveals that, if 30% of the French population is less than 25 years old, the number drops to 23% for Catholics (and 16% for practicing Catholics). Similarly, 42% of the overall population is more than 50 years old, versus 50% of Catholics and 55% of practicing Catholics.

The CSA survey The French and religion conducted in December 2004 already showed that 73% of French people claim to have religious affiliations, and that this number rises to 84.5% for people aged 75 years and above and declines to only 60.4% for youth between 18-24 years of age. This ageing was also observable with the IFOP - Okapi survey carried out on 14 December 2005 on a sample of 406 French adolescents within the age limit of 11-15. When responding to the question "personally, which religion do you belong to?", it is notable that the proportion of youth claiming to be Catholics (52%) was lower compared to the total population (65%). On the other hand, the proportion of youth who claim to have no religious affiliations (34%) was higher compared to the total population (25%).

However, a recent survey of OpinionWay (En quoi les jeunes croient-ils ? (In what do youth believe?), OpinionWay for La Croix, March 2018, youth from 18 to 30 years old), seems to indicate a slight increase in religious belief. Compared to a 2016 survey, religious belonging is mainly Catholic in 2018 with 41% (-1 compared to 2016), and Muslim 8% (+4). Protestant, Buddhist, Jewish and Orthodox belonging is stable (respectively 3, 1, 1 and 0%). Belonging to another religion increases, from 2% in 2016 to 3% in 2018. "Nones" are 43% (-4 compared to 2016). 57% claim to have a religious belonging, it was 53% in 2016.
This tendency is similar to what can be observed in other surveys: religious belonging is on the increase because of the growing number of people claiming to be Muslims or from "another religion", and the diminishing number of those claiming to have "no religion".

2 August 2018