The Netherlands Is Now Home to More Atheists Than Believers


The Netherlands is now home to more atheists than believers, revealed a survey that was conducted by research company Ipsos. According to the survey, approximately 25 percent of the Netherlands’ population is comprised of atheists while only 17 percent is comprised of devout believers.

However, the majority of people or 60 percent of the Netherlands’ population are still on the fence regarding their faith. These individuals are indecisive over whether or not to believe in God, often describing themselves as either agnostics or “something-tics.”

Yet, 53 percent of respondents of the Ipsos survey said they believe in life after death while 40 percent said they are spiritually inclined.

Another study carried out by the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCPO) showed that belief in God is diminishing among those living in the Netherlands. In the last survey SCPO conducted in 2012, there were still more believers than atheists in the country.

According to psychologist Joke van Saane, the waning trend of faith in God is directly linked with modernity, mankind’s increasing selfishness and technological advancements – all of which have had a significant impact on the traditional lifestyle that used to be predominant earlier.

“It used to be that your village, your family or your church determined who you are,” she told Trouw. “Now you can be someone on Facebook without traditional links.”

What was surprising about Ipsos’ study however was the fact that there were more believers among the youth than the elderly. Van Saane linked this finding with young people desperately looking for spiritual guidance or any tradition to hold on to.

The researchers in question believe a lot more data needs to be collected before a conclusive statement can be made about the study.

In 2012, a different study comprising 51,000 people from across 57 countries determined atheism was growing at a rapid pace in European as well as Asian countries. The study also noted that the total number of non-believers had increased by approximately 10 percent across the world. Yet, the larger population in the world, specifically 59 percent, still considers itself religious.

“There is a notable decline across the globe in self-description of being religious,” the researchers behind the RedC Opinion Poll said at the time.

Photo Credits: StudyGroup

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