Skip to content
The article is more than 8 years old

Non-religious to outnumber Lutheran church members in Helsinki by 2021

Statistics Finland predicts that if the current trend in leaving the Lutheran church holds strong, non-religious Helsinkians will outnumber church members within seven years. Immigration and breaking from the church are the main reasons for the estimated tip in the scales.

Kirkosta eronneiden määrä kasvaa kovaa tahtia.
Kirkosta eronneiden määrä kasvaa kovaa tahtia. Image: Mika Kanerva

In 2013, 58.4 percent of Helsinki citizens were members of the Lutheran church and 37.5 percent had no official affiliation with a religious community.

Statistics Finland’s estimate of non-regligious Helsinkians outstripping Lutherans is based on a calculated average based on trends from the last ten years. But breaking from the church has become more and more common yearly, meaning that the 2021 marker may turn out to be late, the statistics authority says.

Capital Region differs from rest of country

The phenomenon is similar throught the Capital Region, though Helsinki tops the charts in leaving the church. Non-religious proliferation in Vantaa and Espoo, for instance, is set to overtake Lutheran memberships by 2029, eight years later than the Helsinki estimate.

In addition to the high breaking off rate in large Capital Region cities, which has risen by one percent each year since 2007, immigration affects the statistics as well. A large proportion of new residents of Helsinki and Vantaa have arrived from abroad. Even if immigrants identify as Christian, the figures are affected because new inhabitants do not necessarily join their local church immediately upon arriving in Finland.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia