National Congregations Study Switzerland, Cumulative Dataset (1998, 2006, and 2008)

Data Archive > International Surveys and Data > Single Nation Surveys > Summary


This dataset is the first representative survey of religious congregations in Switzerland. A representative sample of approximately 1,000 Swiss congregations was developed and a leader of each congregation was interviewed, using a standardized questionnaire. The central questions of this survey deal with congregational vitality and what congregations in Switzerland offer concerning worship, social, political and cultural activities.

Data File
Cases: 3,780
Variables: 153
Weight Variable: W2USCONG, W3USATT, W1CHCONG, W3CHATT, WUSCHCNG, WUSCHATT
For more information on the weights, see the full codebook.
Data Collection
Date Collected: 1998, 2006, 2008
Original Survey (Instrument)
NCS Switzerland Codebook
Funded By
National Research Program of the Swiss National Science Foundation
Collection Procedures
Specially trained interviewers were used. Interviews were done with CATI (computer aided telephone interview) and took about 45 minutes. Respondents were required to be experts on their congregation, such as the religious leader or a designated representative. Interviews were conducted in one of the three national Swiss languages (French, German, or English). When researchers could not find a congregational expert who could speak one of these languages, they used interviewers who knew more languages. If congregational representatives could not be reached by telephone, interviewers visited the congregations for face-to-face interviews. In some cases, respondents were compensated for their time.
Sampling Procedures
As a first step, investigators made a comprehensive list of all religious congregations in Switzerland. They used a variety of methods to ensure the list was as complete as possible, and included small, new, and not very well known groups. They combined and cross-checked the following sources of information: encyclopedias of religions and religious congregations in each canton, or state, in Switzerland; mapping studies of religious congregations in each canton; lists of religious congregations from information centers on religion, and telephone directories. They also followed up on leads derived from these sources.
Principal Investigators
Jorg Stolz, Universite de Lausanne
Mark Chaves, Duke University
Related Publications
Stolz, Jörg, Chaves, Mark, Monnot, Christophe, & Amiotte-Suchet, Laurent. 2011. The Religious Communities in Switzerland: Properties, Activities, Development. Berne: Fonds National Suisse.

Monnot, Christophe. 2013. Believing Together: Institutional Analyses of the Religious Landscape in Switzerland. Zurich: Seismo.

Monnot, Christophe, & Stolz, Jörg. 2014. "Diversity of Religious Diversity. Using Census and NCS Methodology in Order to Map and Assess the Religious Diversity of a Whole Country." In Religious Pluralism: Framing Religious Diversity in Contemporary World, edited by G. Giordan & E. Pace. Heidelberg: Springer.

Monnot, Christophe. 2012. “Measures of Religious Practice. Different Measures, Different Rates? Analyses from Switzerland." Archives des Sciences Sociales des Religions 158(1):137-156.

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