The Number of Catholics in Austria Decreases

This is the result of statistics published by the Austrian dioceses on Wednesday.   

Newsroom (January 13, 2022, 2:55 PM, Gaudium Press) The Catholic Church in Austria has published the statistics, showing how much the pandemic has also affected church life. As expected, there were strong declines in the sacraments (Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation and Marriage). Many celebrations had to be postponed due to the coronavirus.

Thus, on December 31, 2021, there were 4.83 million Catholics in Austria. In 2020, according to official statistics from the Austrian Bishops’ Conference, there were 4.91 million Catholics. This corresponds to a decrease of about 1.6 percent.

In total, 72,055 people left the Catholic Church in 2021. In 2020, there were 58,727 people, which was a significant decrease from 2019 (67,794).

This is because – as in Germany – many Austrians are moving away from the official church: the number of people leaving the church increased in 2020, the Conference of Bishops confirmed.

The number of priests and religious present in Austria has declined slightly, while the number of permanent deacons has increased.

The decisive factors for the decline in the number of Catholics are not only the ratio of dropouts to admissions to the Church, but also baptisms and deaths, the Bishops’ Conference notified.

The number of marriages has drastically reduced: from over 9,800 marriages in 2019, to only 3,595 in 2020.

Compiled by Sarah Gangl

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