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Religious belonging and religious demography

Comparison of censuses 2001 and 2011

2001 2011 Number % Number % Population - total 4.437.460 100 4.284.889 100 Catholics 3.903.551 87,97 3.697.143 86,28 Orthodox 195.969 4,42 190.143 4,44 Protestants 11.824 0,27 14.653 (...)

2001 2011
Number % Number %
Population - total 4.437.460 100 4.284.889 100
Catholics 3.903.551 87,97 3.697.143 86,28
Orthodox 195.969 4,42 190.143 4,44
Protestants 11.824 0,27 14.653 0,34
Other Christians 10.569 0,24 12.961 0,30
Muslims 56.777 1,28 62.977 1,47
Jews 495 0,01 536 0,01
Oriental religions 969 0,02 2.550 0,06
Other religions, movements and life philosophies 524 0,01 2.555 0,06
Agnostics and sceptics 1.547 0,03 32.518 0,76
Not religious and atheists 98.376 2,22 163.375 3,81
Not declared 130.985 2,95 93.018 2,17
Unknown 25.874 0,58 12.460 0,29

The comparison between 2001 and 2011 indicates the stability of the religious belonging. However, when comparing these data with those from 1991 (when the Census contained data on religious belonging for the first time since 1953) a major recomposition in the structure of religious belonging can be observed. Specifically, the share of Catholics rose from 76.5% in 1991 to 87.83% 2001, and the share of Orthodox fell from 11.1% in 1991 to 4.44% in 2011. That shift is a result of the fall of former Yugoslavia, and of the Croatian war for independence which ensued, after the country proclaimed its independence in 1991. As a result, many Orthodox then left the country while many Catholics from other parts of former Yugoslavia (particularly from Bosnia, Herzegovina and Serbia) migrated to Croatia.

26 November 2013

Religious belonging according to the 2011 Census and 2015-2016 data, percentages

Religious belonging according to the 2011 Census, percentages Total (number) 4 284 889 Catholics 86.28 Orthodox 4.44 Protestants 0.34 Other Christians 0.30 Muslims 1.47 Jews 0,01 (...)

Religious belonging according to the 2011 Census, percentages

Total (number) 4 284 889
Catholics 86.28
Orthodox 4.44
Protestants 0.34
Other Christians 0.30
Muslims 1.47
Jews 0,01
Oriental religions 0,06
Other religions, movements and life philosophies 0,06
Agnostics and sceptics 0,76
Not religious and atheists 3,81
Not declared 2,17
Unknown 0,29

Note: the categories in the table have been named by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics; there are no publicly available information which particular religions are included under particular category (such as under “other Christians”, “oriental religions”, etc.).

Source: Croatian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011 – Population by Ethnicity and Religion.

Religious belonging according to the 2015-2016 data, percentages

Catholics 84
Orthodox 4
Muslims 2
Unaffiliated 7
Other 3

Source: Pew Research Center (2017) Religious Belief and National Belonging in Central and Eastern Europe. Full report available as a pdf document at the Pew Research Center website.

Comparison of the 2011 census data with new research data provided by the Pew Research Center published in May 2017 (fieldwork was done from June 2015 to July 2106 in 18 Central and Eastern European countries) shows the stability of basic religious belonging. Though it is not quite correct to compare census data with research data, and though the Pew Research data contain somewhat different categories, these data confirm that Croatians continue to belong to religious communities.

22 August 2017