• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Photo: Marianne Løvland / NTB scanpix

For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God

NTB/The Local · 18 Mar 2016, 08:24

Published: 18 Mar 2016 08:24 GMT+01:00

A new survey from the annual social-cultural study Norwegian Monitor (Norsk Monitor) shows an historic level of Norwegians who don’t believe in the existence of God, Vårt Land reported. 
 
To the question “Do you believe in God?”, 39 percent responded “no” while 37 percent said “yes”. Another 23 percent of respondents said they did not know. 
 
The survey, which was sent to 4,000 Norwegians by post, marks the first time that non-believers outnumber the religious. Two years ago, the number of believers and non-believers was equal. When the question was first asked in 1985, a full 50 percent said they believed in God while just 20 percent did not. 
 
See also: Norway's call to remove crosses causes backlash
 
Jan-Paul Brekke of Ipsos Norway, who led the survey, said the question did not define who ‘God’ is. 
 
“It could be the Christian god, an independent god  or one from other faiths. But since we started asking the question 30 years ago, the percentage of those who said they aren’t sure has been about the same,” he said. 
 
“There are quite a few immigrants included [in the survey] but the majority of them come from Western religious traditions. We have only a few Muslims in our material,” Brekke added. 
Story continues below…
 
The survey also showed that women are more likely to believe in God than man and that faith in God is stronger among the old than the young. 
 
Oslo had the lowest share of believers, at 29 percent, while Vest-Agder was highest at 44 percent. 

For more news from Norway, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

NTB/The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway kids and parents tell each other to log off
Parents and kids accuse each other of spending too much time online. Photos: Jan Haas and Frank May / NTB scanpix

Norwegian parents are critical of the amount of time their children spend online but their children feel the exact same way about them.

Norway firm opens office in Minecraft
The Oslo firm set up their island office on Norway's biggest Minecraft server. Screenshot: Heisholt Inc

The company behind the world's first ever live Minecraft concert has now set up shop within the popular gaming platform.

79-year-old Norwegian lands plane with no propeller
Garstad's propeller (left) was found after his crash landing at Sola (right). Photos: Arnstein Løvbrekke/NTB Scanpix and Florian Pépellin/WikiCommons

The veteran pilot said the air traffic controllers were "more flustered than me” when he told them he was coming in for a crash landing.

Norway oil investments set to drop again in 2017
After 15 years of solid growth boosted by rising oil and gas prices, the Norwegian economy has rapidly slumped. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Oil investments, one of the main drivers of Norway's economy, are expected to fall for a third straight year.

App-surd! Norwegians read app terms for 32 hours
The Norwegian consumer protection agency staged the readathon as part of its #appfail campaign. Photo: Forbrukerrådet

In a live-streamed 'readathon' Norway consumers read the "very bad" terms and conditions of popular smartphone apps.

Norway firm to buy portion of Finland defence company
Patria specializes in armoured vehicles. Photo: Patria

A portion of Finnish state-owned defence manufacturer Patria will be privatized through a sell to Kongsberg, a partially state-owned defence company in Norway.

'Historic': McDonald's agrees to contain Arctic cod fishing
The McDonald's on Nedre Slottsgate in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX

For the first time ever, major players in the seafood industry have voluntarily imposed limitations on industrial fishing in the Arctic.

Norwegian ship rescues over 1,000 refugees
Kripos said that the ship had never before brought so many people on board. Photo: Kripos/Scanpix

The Norwegian rescue vessel Siem Pilot on Wednesday came to the aid of more than 1,000 people off the coast of Libya.

Shareholders at Norway's Opera accept Chinese bid
Opera's Oslo offices. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / Scanpix

Deal for the world's fight-biggest internet browser will now need US and Chinese approval.

Ryanair departure will doom Norway airport
Passengers depart a Ryanair flight at Moss Airport Rygge. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

The board of directors at Moss Airport Rygge will shut down the airport's commercial operations if Irish carrier Ryanair makes good on its threats to abandon its base there.

Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Memo: Norway 'not mentally prepared' for refugees' impact
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Society
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
National
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
Politics
Norway's tough asylum plans face resistance
National
'Patriot' group Soldiers of Odin debut in Norway
National
Oslo is the real ‘Capital of Scandinavia’
Health
Norway ads use Hitler teddy bear to scare parents... about dust
National
Migrants: Norway 'sending us to death' in Russia
Norway under fire over tough new asylum plans
2,040
jobs available