Edition 2021

Foto omschrijving: Visitors looking at a prayer room at Mehmet Akif Ersoy Mosque

What are the major religions?

More than half (55 percent) of Dutch people aged 15 years and over are not religious. In 2020, 20 percent of the Dutch population belonged to the Catholic Church, 14 percent were Protestant, 5 percent Muslim and 5 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.

55.4%19.8%14.4%5.1%5.2%IrreligionRoman CatholicismProtestantismOtherIslamWhat are the major religions?

The proportion of Dutch people aged 15 and over who regularly attend a religious service has also continued to decline. In 2012, 17 percent of people aged 15 and over still attended a service regularly; this dropped to 13 percent in 2020.

In 2020, 8 percent of Dutch people who regularly attended a service did so weekly, 3 percent several times a month and 2 percent once a month. Five percent went less than once a month, 82 percent rarely or never attended a service.

Religious denomination or ideological group (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over)
Periode None Roman Catholic Protestant Muslim Other
2012 46.2 25.6 17.2 4.5 6.5
2013 46.2 26.4 16.8 4.7 5.9
2014 47.5 25.4 16.5 4.7 5.9
2015 48.2 25.3 15.4 4.6 6.5
2016 49.7 24.1 15.6 5.1 5.5
2017 50.7 23.6 15 5.1 5.6
2018 51.8 22.1 16 4.9 5.3
2019 54.1 20.1 14.8 5 5.9
2020 55.4 19.8 14.4 5.1 5.2

Catholics go to church least often

The frequency of church or mosque attendance varies greatly depending on the denomination. Of the most common denominations in the Netherlands, Catholics go to church the least often. In 2020, 13 percent regularly attended a religious gathering. Among Protestants this was 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 firmly believe in God

The Dutch are divided about the existence of a God. For example, 1 in 3 (33 percent) say they do not believe in God, while nearly one-quarter (24 percent) firmly believe 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 8 percent say they believe in God but still have doubts.

Finally, 15 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, 2020 (% of persons aged 15 yrs and over)
Geloof in God 2020 Share
I do not believe in God 33.4
I believe in God 24.4
I do not believe in God
but I do believe in a higher power
I do not know if there is a God 14.2
I believe in God, although I have my doubts 7.5
At times I believe in God
other times I do not

Nearly 1 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. Eight percent of Catholics do not believe in God, while this is limited to 1 percent of Protestants and Muslims. Almost 1 in 3 Catholics say they have no doubt God exists. Among Protestants this is almost twice as high at 61 percent; and among Muslims three times as high (92 percent).

The questions


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Concept & image editor

Irene van Kuik


Janneke Hendriks

Richard Jollie

Hendrik Zuidhoek


Ronald van der Bie

Annelie Hakkenes-Tuinman

Michel van Kooten

Sidney Vergouw

Paul de Winden

Karolien van Wijk

Gert Jan Wijma


Frans Dinnissen

Gaby de Vet

Taalcentrum VU

Final editor

Elma Wobma

We thank all CBS colleagues who have contributed to this edition of The Netherlands in numbers.