Sacralisation by Stealth? The Demography of De-secularisation

  • Eric KaufmannEmail author
Part of the Understanding Population Trends and Processes book series (UPTA, volume 2)


This chapter tests the thesis that the population of the developed world will become increasingly religious in the twenty-first century, reversing decades of secularisation. There will be no mass conversions or sudden shifts in the cultural mood. Instead, religiosity will spread largely through demographic advantage. This study explores the relationship between fertility, immigration and religiosity through church attendance as well as measures of religious belief. It shows that secularisation is slowing in Europe, and that even if secularisation continues among individuals, Europe and America will grow more religious in aggregate after 2050 due to immigration and a gap in fertility between religious and secular populations.


Total Fertility Rate European Social Survey Life Cycle Effect Religious Population European Social Survey Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am indebted to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)’s Understanding Population Trends and Processes (UPTAP) programme, which funded this research through a programme grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Birkbeck College, University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Kennedy School of Government, Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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