Religion becoming extinct in nine countries

| 22/03/2011

(BBC): A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is set for extinction, say researchers. The study found a steady rise in those claiming no religious affiliation. The team’s mathematical model attempts to account for the interplay between the number of religious respondents and the social motives behind being one. The result, reported at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, US, indicates that religion will all but die out in those countries. The team took census data stretching back as far as a century where the census queried religious affiliation: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

"In a large number of modern secular democracies, there’s been a trend that folk are identifying themselves as non-affiliated with religion; in the Netherlands the number was 40%, and the highest we saw was in the Czech Republic, where the number was 60%," said Dr Richard Wiener of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and the University of Arizona.

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