Demographic Forces Shaping the Religious Landscape of Vienna

  • Anne GoujonEmail author
  • Ramon Bauer


Since 1970 the religious homogeneity in terms of the domination in the population of the Roman Catholic Church in Austria has been slowly fading away through two main forces: progressing secularization and immigration of those belonging to other religions. This transformation is unique in the history of religions, but common to most “modern” societies. Migrant women have a higher number of children compared to native women, which is reinforcing the increase in religious pluralism due to migration. These phenomena lead to the diversification of the religious landscape in Austria and is exacerbated in the city of Vienna where both forces of secularization and migration are stronger than in any of the other Austrian federal provinces. If the different censuses in Austria since 1951 allow for the analysis of changes in the religious landscape of the population at detailed spatial levels, the demographic forces responsible or these flows have not yet been explored although most of the data can be reconstructed. The chapter describes the reconstruction exercise of the different forces that have been shaping the religious composition of Vienna: migration (international, national), mortality, fertility, and religious conversion from 1951 to 2011.


Religious composition Secularization Migration Fertility Historical analysis Spatial diversity Austria 



We are greatly indebted to Daniel Bichl for recovering and computing the data on religion from historical sources. Our sincere appreciation goes to Caroline Berghammer, Katrin Fliegenschnee, Richard Gisser, Regina Polak, Marcin Stonawski, and Krystof Zeman, for their help in solving problems and answering crucial questions along the way.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)LaxenburgAustria
  2. 2.Vienna Institute of Demography/Austrian Academy of SciencesViennaAustria
  3. 3.Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ŐAW, WU)Vienna Institute of Demography/Austrian Academy of SciencesViennaAustria

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