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Agnosticism and People Without Religion in Brazil

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The “No Religion” in Government Censuses of Population in Brazil

Over the period of governmental censuses of the population carried out in Brazil, in the question about citizens’ religion, a growth of what has been called “no religion” has been noted. From 0.5% in 1960, 0.8% in 1970, 1.6% in 1980, 4.8% in 1990, 7.4% in 2000, the figure reached 8% in 2010. This corresponds to 15.3 million of the population of Brazil. “No religion” is a category created by census makers to allocate responses that did not express religious adherence, but which, since the 1990 Census, has become a theme that mirrors the existence of a relevant social segment (Nicolini 2017). Nonetheless, it would be a mistake to contend that this means a growth of atheism in the country (Rodrigues 2012). Of these 15.3 million, only 615,000 declared themselves atheists (0.32%) and 124,000 agnostics (0.07%) (Novaes 2013).

They are mostly young people with an average age of 26. And although the number of “no religion” was 8%...


  • “No religion”
  • Youth
  • Self-religiosity
  • Religious transit
  • Syncretism
  • Popular strata

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Correspondence to Marcelo Camurça .

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Camurça, M. (2017). Agnosticism and People Without Religion in Brazil. In: Gooren, H. (eds) Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions. Springer, Cham.

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