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Nearly 1.5 million in Finland do not profess any religion

One in four people in Finland do not belong to any religious community. The figure has risen in recent years.

Every fourth person in Finland has either never belonged to a registered religious community or has left their original religion. Image: AOP

One in four Finnish people do not belong to any registered religious community, Statistics Finland reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

Thirty percent of men are unaffiliated with any religion, compared with 23 percent of women. The largest group of non-religious people is the 30-39-year-old bracket, of whom 40 percent do not belong to a registered religion. In 2000 only 15 percent of that age group was did not profess any religious affiliation.

The smallest proportion of non-religious is among those aged 70 and over, with just 14 percent steering clear of registered religions, showing little change from 2000.

The one-million person mark for the religiously unaffiliated was broken in 2010. At the end of 2017 there were some 1.45 million non-religious people in Finland.

Figures seem to show that 85 percent of speakers speaking a language other than Finnish or Swedish do not belong to any religious community, but Statistics Finland reports that this is not reflective of the true state of affairs.

"The information on religious community does not accurately represent immigrants, in particular," the statistics release reads. "Not all religious communities are included in the register of the National Board of Patents and Registration and not all those practicing a religion belong to parishes."