Edition 2020

Photo description: Girl with her hands placed on her heart, eyes closed.

What are the major religions?

More than half (54 percent) of Dutch people aged 15 years and over do not consider themselves part of an ideological group. In 2019, 20 percent of the Dutch population belonged to the Catholic Church, 15 percent were Protestant, 5 percent Muslim and 6 percent belonged to another religious group. Religious involvement has continued to decline in recent years. In 2017, for the first time more than half of the Dutch population aged 15 years and over did not belong to a religious or ideological group.

54.1%20.1%14.8%5.9%5.0%IrreligiousRoman CatholicProtestantOtherIslamWhat are the major religions?

The proportion of Dutch people aged 15 and over who regularly attend religious services continued to fall further. In 2012, 17 percent of people aged 15 and over still attended a service regularly; this dropped further to 14 percent in 2019.

In 2019, almost 9 percent of Dutch people who regularly attended a service did so weekly, 3 percent several times a month and 2 percent once a month. More than 6 percent went less than once a month, 80 percent rarely or never attended a service.

Religious denomination or ideological group (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over)
Jaartal None Roman Catholic Protestant Islam Other
2019 54.1 20.1 14.8 5.0 5.9
2018 51.8 22.1 16.0 4.9 5.3
2017 50.7 23.6 15.0 5.1 5.6
2016 49.7 24.1 15.6 5.1 5.5
2015 48.2 25.3 15.4 4.6 6.5
2014 47.5 25.4 16.5 4.7 5.9
2013 46.2 26.4 16.8 4.7 5.9
2012 46.2 25.6 17.2 4.5 6.5

Catholics go to church the least

The frequency of attendance varies greatly depending on the denomination. Of the most common denominations in the Netherlands, Catholics go to church the least often. In 2019, 14 percent regularly attended a religious gathering. Among Protestants this is considerably higher at 50 percent. Among Muslims, 35 percent visit a mosque at least once a month. Among those belonging to a different denomination or ideological group, 1 out of every 3 attends a service on a regular basis.

A quarter believes firmly in God

The Dutch are divided about the existence of God. For example, 1 in 3 says they do not believe in God, while a quarter firmly believes in the existence of God. The rest indicate that they do not know or are unsure. For example, 15 percent say they do not know if there is a God, 6 percent sometimes believe in God and sometimes not, and 7 percent say they believe in God but still have doubts.

Finally, 14 percent say that they do not believe in a God who deals with people personally, but that they do believe in some higher power.

Belief in God, 2019 (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over)
Categorie Percentage
I do not believe in God 33.2
I believe in God 24.6
I do not know if there is a God and
I do not believe there is a way to find out
14.8
I do not believe in a God who deals
with every one of us personally,
but I do believe in a higher power
14
I believe in God,
although I have my doubts
7.1
At times I believe in God,
other times I do not
6.3

One in 10 Catholics do not believe in God

Of those who do not belong to a faith group, 56 percent say they do not believe in God. One out of every 10 Catholics does not believe in God, while this is limited to 2 out of every 100 Protestants and Muslims.

Almost 1 in 3 Catholics say they have no doubt God exists. Among Protestants this is twice as high at 65 percent; and at 90% Muslims take the cake.

The questions

Colophon

This web publication was developed by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in cooperation with Textcetera The Hague.
If you have a question or comment about this publication, please contact us.

Disclaimer and copyright

Cookies

On this website, CBS uses functional cookies on this website to allow proper functioning of the site. These cookies do not contain personal user data and have minimal or no consequences for your privacy. In addition, CBS uses analytical cookies to track visitor statistics, including the number of page views, which topics users are searching, and how visitors reach our website. The purpose is to gain insight into the functioning of the website in order to improve your user experience. We minimise traceability of visitors to our website as much as possible by anonymising the final octet (group of eight bits) of each IP address. These data are not shared with other parties. CBS does not use tracking cookies. Tracking cookies are cookies that track visitors during their browsing of other websites.

The functional and analytical cookies have minimal or no consequences for your privacy. In accordance with current regulations, these cookies may be placed without prior consent.

More information (in Dutch only): https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/telecommunicatie/vraag-en-antwoord/mag-een-website-ongevraagd-cookies-plaatsen

Explanation of symbols

Explanation of symbols
Symbol Explanation
Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
2016/’17 crop year, financial year, school year etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2004/’05–2016/’17 crop year etc. 2004/’05 up to and including 2016/’17

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

About CBS

CBS responds to developments in Dutch society by providing statistical information as facts that matter, and communicates on these facts with the outside world. In doing so, CBS offers insights into current developments in society and helps answer policy questions. Research at CBS is focused on broad trends in society and how these are interrelated.

CBS has offices in The Hague, Heerlen and Bonaire with altogether approximately 2,000 staff. A society-oriented working attitude is essential to CBS. CBS provides figures which are relevant to society. Every year, CBS publishes around 600 statistical studies. Virtually every day, CBS data and figures are communicated to the outside world via news releases, video messages and through social media. This results in some 50,000 articles per year in daily newspapers and on news sites.

For more information on CBS’s tasks, organisation and publications, go to cbs.nl/en-gb.

Contact

Should you have any questions or need more information, please contact us.

Contributors

Concept & image editing

Irene van Kuik

Infographics

Anne Blaak

Janneke Hendriks

Richard Jollie

Hendrik Zuidhoek

Editing

Ronald van der Bie

Kees Groenenboom

Annelie Hakkenes-Tuinman

Michel van Kooten

Sidney Vergouw

Paul de Winden

Elma Wobma

Karolien van Wijk

Gert Jan Wijma

Translators

Gabriëlle de Vet

Frans Dinnissen

Final editing

Annelie Hakkenes-Tuinman

We thank all other colleagues who have contributed to this edition of The Netherlands in Numbers.