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Included Nations/Regions: Austria [x], The World [x]


Religion and State (RAS) Indexes1

Religion Indexes (Austria)

State Funding of Religion
Summary categories: None (0/3), Low (1/3), Medium (2/3), High (3/3)

Ranking: 96/253
Societal Discrimination of Minority Religions
Summary categories: None (0/3), Low (1/3), Medium (2/3), High (3/3)

Ranking: 35/253
State Regulation of Majority or All Religions
Summary categories: None (0/3), Low (1/3), Medium (2/3), High (3/3)

Ranking: 145/253
State Discrimination of Minority Religions
Summary categories: None (0/3), Low (1/3), Medium (2/3), High (3/3)

Ranking: 61/253
For details on how these indexes were constructed, click here

Austria: Major World Religions (1900 - 2050) (World Religion Database, 2020)2

The following groups with less than 1% of the population were hidden from this graph: Baha'is, Buddhists, Chinese folk-religionists, Confucianists, Ethnic religionists, Hindus, Jews, New religionists, Sikhs.


Austria: Largest Religious Groups (1900 - 2050) (World Religion Database, 2020)2

The following groups with less than 1% of the population were hidden from this graph: doubly-affiliated, Independents, Islamic schismatics, Mahayanists, Saktists, Shaivites, Shias, Theravadins, Vaishnavites.


Religious Adherents (World Religion Database 2020)2

Religion Austria
[x]
The World
[x]
Baha'is 0.02% 0.11%
Buddhists 0.13% 6.83%
--Mahayanists 0.10% 4.89%
--Theravadins 0.03% 1.72%
--Lamaists --- 0.23%
Chinese folk-religionists 0.04% 5.98%
Christians 69.08% 32.16%
--unaffiliated Christians 4.11% 1.46%
--Orthodox 2.28% 3.75%
--Catholics 59.15% 15.90%
--Protestants 4.03% 7.51%
--Independents 0.92% 5.00%
Daoists --- 0.11%
Confucianists 0.02% 0.11%
Ethnic religionists 0.00% 3.65%
Hindus 0.08% 13.58%
--Vaishnavites 0.02% 5.15%
--Shaivites 0.03% 4.86%
--Saktists 0.03% 3.57%
Jains --- 0.08%
Jews 0.09% 0.19%
Muslims 7.09% 24.20%
--Sunnis 6.97% 21.56%
--Shias 0.12% 2.44%
--Islamic schismatics 0.00% 0.21%
New religionists 0.06% 0.85%
Shintoists --- 0.04%
Sikhs 0.04% 0.34%
Spiritists --- 0.19%
Zoroastrians --- 0.00%
Non-Religious 23.35% 11.57%
--Agnostics 21.52% 9.65%
--Atheists 1.83% 1.92%

Religious demographics (Austria)3

The country has an area of 32,369 square miles and a population of 8.3 million. During previous reporting periods the country experienced some immigration from countries such as Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which increased the number of Muslims. The Muslim community more than doubled between 1991 and 2001 to 339,000, or 4.2 percent of the population. Estimates for 2007 indicate that there are approximately 400,000 Muslims in the country. In recent reporting periods immigration has slowed down due to the gradual introduction of a quota system in the late 1990s.

According to the 2001 census, membership in major religious groups is as follows: Roman Catholic Church, 74 percent; Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches (Evangelical Church-Augsburger and Helvetic confessions), 4.7 percent; Muslim community, 4.2 percent; Jewish community, 0.1 percent; Eastern Orthodox (Russian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian, and Bulgarian), 2.2 percent; other Christian churches, 0.9 percent; and other non-Christian religious groups, 0.2 percent. Atheists account for 12 percent, and 2 percent do not indicate a religious affiliation.

According to a poll by the German market research institute FESSEL-GfK conducted in June and July 2007, 81 percent of respondents state that they belong to a church or religious group. Of that number, 2 percent attend services more than once a week, 10 percent attend weekly, 9 percent attend a minimum of once a month, 26 percent attend several times a year (on special occasions), and 53 percent nearly never attend.

The provinces of Carinthia (10.3 percent) and Burgenland (13.3 percent) have higher percentages of Protestants than the national average of 4.7 percent. The number of Muslims is higher than the national average of 4.2 percent in Vienna (7.8 percent) and the province of Vorarlberg (8.4 percent), where industry draws a disproportionately higher number of guest workers from Turkey and the former Yugoslavia.

The vast majority of groups termed "sects" by the Government are small organizations with fewer than one hundred members. Among the larger groups is the Church of Scientology, which claims between 5,000 and 6,000 members, and the Unification Church, with approximately 700 adherents. Other groups termed "sects" include Divine Light Mission, Eckankar, Hare Krishna, the Holosophic Community, the Osho Movement, Sahaja Yoga, Sai Baba, Sri Chinmoy, Transcendental Meditation, Center for Experimental Society Formation, Fiat Lux, Universal Life, and The Family.


Austria - Google Map


Religion and the State

Religion and State Collection (2014)

Austria
[x]
Is proselytizing Legal?1 Yes
Is religious registration someties denied?1 There is no registration requirement
What are the consequences of registration?1 Groups need not register but registration is allowed or encouraged. This encouragement may include benefits given only to registered religions.
Official Support: The formal relationship between religion and state.1 Multi-Tiered Preferences 2
The extent to which religious education is mandatory in public schools.1 Mandatory, but upon specific request, a student may opt out of the course.
The extent to which funding is exclusive to one or a few religions.1 Government funding of religion goes to only some religions for which there are a substantial number of adherents in the country.
The extent to which there are religious requirements and oaths for holding office.1 There are no religious requirements or oaths necessary in order to hold office.

Constitutional Features [ View Excerpts]

Features of Constitution

Austria
[x]
Is there a constitution?9 Yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?10 not stated
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?10 yes, in separate document [ Basic Law on General Rights, Article 14(1) ]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?10 yes [ Article 7(1); Basic Law on General Rights, Article 14(2) ]

Constitution

Austria
[x]
Constitution Year10 1920
Last Amended10 2016
Source10 World Constitutions Illustrated; Government of Austria
Translation10 Source is an English translation, edited by ARDA staff.
Current as of10 July 25, 2018

Public Opinion (Austria)

(Calculated by the ARDA from the World Values Survey)11
1990 1999
Religious Affiliation/Identification
Percent belonging to a religious denomination. 85.7 88
Percent identifying as a religious person. 80.1 79.1
Percent raised religious. 81.9 ---
Religious Behaviors
Percent attending religious services at least once a month. 43.8 42.6
Percent praying to God more than once per week. --- 34.6
Percent that meditate or pray. 70.5 68.7
Percent attending religious services at least once a month when 12 years old. --- 79.5
Percent that changed denominations. --- 14
Percent active in a church or religious organization. --- 34.9
Religious Beliefs
Percent believing in God. 85.9 86.9
Percent believing in heaven. 47.3 41.3
Percent believing in hell. 20.9 18.5
Percent believing in life after death. 55.2 58.6
Percent believing that there are clear guidelines on good and evil. 26.9 20
Percent believing that politicians who do not believe in God are unfit for public office. --- 14.3
Percent believing that religious leaders should not influence people's vote. --- 84.3
Percent believing that things would be better if there are more people with strong religious beliefs. --- 24.8
Percent that think that religious faith is an important quality in children 67.9 60
Percent that agree: We depend too much on science and not enough on faith 32.9 28.9
Percent believing church gives answers to people's spiritual needs. 46.3 37.7
Percent that do not trust people of other religions 36.9 29.8
Percent believing church gives answers on family life problems. --- 11.5
Percent believing churches give answers to moral problems. 72.7 ---
Percent that often think about meaning and purpose of life 66.4 60.9
Percent believing churches give answers to social problems. 87.5 84.8
Percent believing that religious leaders should influence the government. 87.1 81.3
Percent believing that people have a soul. 84.5 76.2
Percent believing in the concept of sin. 28.6 31.7
Percent believing religious services are important for deaths. --- 48.3
Percent believing religious services are important for births. 29.8 22.6
Percent believing religious services are important for marriages. 23.3 ---
Religious Experiences
Percent finding comfort and strength from religion. 59 61.5
Percent saying that they have a lucky charm. --- 26.5
Percent considering that a lucky charm definitely does not provide protection. --- 44.6
Attitudes
Percent considering religion important. 57.6 54
Percent considering that God is not at all important in their life. 9.6 8.9
Percent confident in religious organizations. 48.7 38.9
Percent agreeing that nurses can refuse to assist with an abortion on moral grounds. --- 54.5
Percent agreeing that there should be time for prayer or meditations in schools. --- 64.7
Percent firmly stating that people should stick to their own religion and not explore different traditions. --- 55.2
Politics
Percent thinking that churches have an influence on national politics. --- 60
Percent agreeing that the government protects personal freedom. --- 9.7

Socio-Economic Measures

Military Measures

Austria
[x]
The World
[x]
Composite Index of National Capability, in fraction of 118 0.0020231 0.005162584
2012 Military expenditure (% of GDP)5 0.8 --

Other Measures on Religion, State, and Society


Constitution Clauses Related to Religion


Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion) (Austria)10

Federal Constitutional law (1945)

Article 7

(1) All nationals are equal before the law. Privileges based upon … religion are excluded. …

Article 10

(1) The Federation has powers of legislation and execution in the following matters:

(13) … religious affairs …

Article 14.

(5a) [Educational goals:] oriented in social, religious and moral values … be open to political, religious and ideological thinking of others …

(6) … Admission to public school is open to all without distinction of … religion …

(10) In matters pertaining to … the relationship between school and the Churches (religious societies) including religious instruction at school, the National Council … can vote Federal legislation only in the presence of at least half the members and by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast.

Article 14a.

(3) … legislation is the business of the Federation, execution the business of the Länder in matters of

(a) religious instruction;

Article 62. [On Presidential oath of office]

(2) The addition of a religious asseveration is admissible.

Article 72.

(1) [On oath of office for members of the Federal government] The addition of a religious asseveration is admissible.

Article 101.

(4) [On oath of office for member of Länder governments] The addition of a religious asseveration is admissible.

Basic Law on the General Rights of Nationals (1867)

Article 14.

(1) Everyone is guaranteed complete freedom of conscience and creed.

(2) The enjoyment of civil and political rights is independent of religious belief. Nevertheless duties incumbent on nationals may not be prejudiced by religious beliefs.

(3) No one can be forced to observe a ritual act or to participate in an ecclesiastical ceremony insofar as he is not subordinate to another who is by law invested with such authority.

Article 15.

Every Church and religious society recognized by the law has the right to joint public religious practice, arranges and administers its internal affairs autonomously, and retains possession and enjoyment of its institutions, endowments and funds devoted to worship, instruction and welfare, but is like every society subject to the general laws of the land.

Article 16.

The members of a confession without legal recognition may practice their religion at home, insofar as this practice is neither unlawful, nor offends common decency.

Article 17.

(4) The Church or religious society concerned shall see to religious instruction in schools.

Variable Details

  • For more details on State Funding of Religion (FUN_4CAT) see this document.
  • For more details on Societal Discrimination of Minority Religions (SOC_4CAT) see this document.
  • For more details on State Regulation of Majority or All Religions (NXX_4CAT) see this document.
  • For more details on State Discrimination of Minority Religions (MXX_4CAT) see this document.
  • Sources

    1 The Religion and State (RAS) Project is a university-based project located at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel and is directed by Jonathan Fox. Round 3 of the RAS includes all countries with populations of 250,000 or more as well as a sampling of smaller states and offers annual measures from 1990 to 2014. The methods used for conducting the RAS3 collection and the complete codebook can be reviewed online. Or, the codebook and data file can be downloaded free of charge here. For details on how the RAS indexes reported on the ARDA’s National Profiles were coded, constructed, and placed into categories, click here.

    2 Todd M. Johnson and Brian J. Grim, eds. World Religion Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2022).

    3 The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

    4 The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    5 Relying on agencies from each country, as well as a synthesis of data from United Nations divisions, Eurostate Demographic statistics, the U.S. Census international database, and its own data collection, the World Bank's Open Data site offers free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe.

    6 The Center for Systemic Peace (CSP) is engaged in innovative research on the problem of political violence within the structural context of the dynamic global system. The Center supports scientific research and quantitative analysis in many issue areas related to the fundamental problems of violence in both human relations and societal-systemic development processes. The Center continually monitors political behavior in each of the world's major states and reports on emerging issues and persisting conditions related to the problems of political violence and "state failure." A dataset with these and other international measures can be downloaded from here. Used with permission. *Note: Polity Scores range from -10 to 10 and include the following categories: -10 to -9: strongly autocratic, -8 to -7 autocratic, -6 to -4 weakly autocratic, -3 to +3 anocratic, +4 to +6 weakly democratic, +7 to +8 democratic, +9 to +10 strongly democratic.

    7 Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) is a new approach to conceptualizing and measuring democracy. V-Dem provides a multidimensional and disaggregated dataset that reflects the complexity of the concept of democracy as a system of rule that goes beyond simple presence of elections. The V-Dem project distinguishes between seven high-level principles of democracy: electoral, liberal, participatory, deliberative, egalitarian, majoritarian, and consensual, and collects data to measure these principles. A dataset with these and other international measures can be downloaded from here. Used with permission.

    8 The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    9 Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

    10 Text from country constitutions was copied from primary documents obtained online using a variety of sources, including the Constitute Project, World Constitutions Illustrated, and government sources. When the text was in a language other than English, it was translated to English by ARDA staff or with web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to differentiate religious content from non-religious content. Text is current to the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

    11 The World Values Survey is a worldwide investigation of socio-cultural and political change. It is conducted by a network of social scientists at leading universities around the world. Interviews have been carried out with nationally representative samples of the publics of more than 80 societies. A total of four waves have been carried out since 1981. The ARDA has averaged the weighted responses across the waves for each country surveyed. The average responses for all countries have been placed in a single file and can be previewed and downloaded here. See the World Values Survey website for further information and to download the original survey data: http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/.

    12 Freedom House is an independent non-governmental organization that offers measures of the extent to which governments are accountable to their own people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association, belief and respect for the rights of minorities and women are guaranteed. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

    13 The CIA's World Factbook was created as an annual summary and update to the now defunct National Intelligence Survey (NIS) studies. The first classified Factbook was published in August 1962, and the first unclassified version was published in June 1971. The NIS program was terminated in 1973 except for the Factbook, map, and gazetteer components. The 1975 Factbook was the first to be made available to the public with sales through the US Government Printing Office (GPO). The year 2010 marks the 67th year of the World Factbook and its predecessor programs. The maps and flags are also from the World Factbook, which is an open source.

    14 Relying on agencies from each country, as well as a synthesis of data from United Nations divisions, Eurostate Demographic statistics, the U.S. Census international database, and its own data collection, the World Bank's Open Data site offers free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe.

    15 The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom is a systematic, empirical measurement of economic freedom in countries throughout the world. A set of objective economic criteria are used to study and grade various countries for the annual publication of the Index of Economic Freedom. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

    16 The United Nations Human Development Reports provide data and statistical analysis in various areas of human development. The Human Development Report (HDR) presents two types of statistics: the human development indicator tables, which provide a global assessment of country achievements in different areas of human development, and thematic statistical analysis. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

    17 The 2013 Gender Inequality Index is a composite measure reflecting inequality in achievements between women and men in three dimensions: reproductive health, empowerment and the labor market. It varies between zero (when women and men fare equally) and one (when men or women fare poorly compared to the other in all dimensions). The health dimension is measured by two indicators: maternal mortality ratio and the adolescent fertility rate. The empowerment dimension is also measured by two indicators: the share of parliamentary seats held by each sex and by secondary and higher education attainment levels. The labor dimension is measured by women’s participation in the work force. Source: The United Nations Human Development Reports provide data and statistical analysis in various areas of human development. The Human Development Report (HDR) presents two types of statistics: the human development indicator tables, which provide a global assessment of country achievements in different areas of human development, and thematic statistical analysis. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

    18 Military data is drawn from the National Material Capabilities (v4.0) dataset, which is a component of and hosted by the Correlates of War Project. The Correlates of War Project seeks to facilitate the collection, dissemination, and use of accurate and reliable quantitative data in international relations. Correlates of War data may be accessed through the above link. Used with permission.

    19 The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom reports. The 2003, 2005, and 2008 reports were coded by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The GRI, GFI and SRI values reported on the National Profiles are averages from the 2003, 2005, and 2008 International Religious Freedom reports, while the Religious Persecution measure is an average from the 2005 and 2008 reports. All other measures derived from the International Religious Freedom reports were coded from the reports 2008. A data file with all of the 2008 coding, as well as data files with other cross national collections are available for preview and download from the data archive on this site. Used with permission.

    20 The Cingranelli-Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Dataset contains standards-based quantitative information on government respect for 15 internationally recognized human rights for 202 countries, annually from 1981-2011. It is designed for use by scholars and students who seek to test theories about the causes and consequences of human rights violations, as well as policy makers and analysts who seek to estimate the human rights effects of a wide variety of institutional changes and public policies including democratization, economic aid, military aid, structural adjustment, and humanitarian intervention. The full CIRI Human Rights Dataset can be accessed through the above link. Used with permission.

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