Austria: Number of Catholics in Decline

The number of Catholics in Austria fell again last year, according to a publication of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference last Wednesday.

Newsroom(13/01/2023 10:04 PM, Gaudium Press) The number of Catholics in Austria fell again last year. This is the result of statistics published by the Austrian dioceses last Wednesday. As of December 31, 2022, there were 4.73 million Catholics in Austria, 2% fewer than the previous year. Almost one in four Catholics in Austria (1.09 million) live in the Archdiocese of Vienna.

According to official statistics from the Austrian Bishops’ Conference, in 2021 there were 4.83 million Catholics.

One reason is mainly the almost 91,000 people who left the church in 2022. Another factor is the ratio between baptisms and deaths.

For many people, the distance to church, which has increased in recent years due to the pandemic, is probably the reason for the high number of departures today. According to information from the dioceses, this trend was maintained last year by the tense general economic situation. In 2021, 72,222 people left the Catholic Church, in 2020 there were 58,727. In 2010, the church recorded 85,960.

By December 31, 2022, 4,449 had been readmitted or received into the Church. This is slightly less than 2021 (4,520) and also slightly more than 2020 with 4,068. On the other hand, the number of marriages and baptisms increased from the previous year.

According to the 2021 statistics, the number of active priests in Austria fell by about 3%, from 3,548 in the previous year to 3,425. The number of religious in Austria (religious brothers and priests) is decreasing (2021: 1,610; 2020: 1,708), as is the number of women religious (3,008 contrasting with 3,088 the previous year).

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With information

Compiled by Teresa Joseph 




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