Survey: The Netherlands Now Has More Atheists Than Believers, But 60 Percent of Respondents Are Unsure January 17, 2015

Survey: The Netherlands Now Has More Atheists Than Believers, But 60 Percent of Respondents Are Unsure

Nowhere in the Western world does secularization race ahead as quickly as it does in the country where I was born and raised.

I hope it’s contagious.

For the first time the Netherlands has more atheists than believers, according to a recent survey conducted by Ipsos. Slightly more than 25 percent of the people are atheists while 17 percent believes in the existence of God.

The majority, 60 percent, is between believing and disbelieving in God. … The majority categorize themselves as either agnostics or ‘something-ists’. Agnostics say they can not know if there is a higher power and somethingists, or ietsists, believe that there must be a some sort of higher power beyond material.

For years now the belief in God has been on the wane, shows research by the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP). In the last measurement in 2012, there still were more believers than non-believers.

One eye-popping result from the survey:

[T]he number of believers is higher among the young than it is among the elderly. Young people are looking for something to hold on to, according to [one of the researchers].

Also,

Despite the relatively small percentage of believers, 53 percent of the population believe in some form of life after death, and over 40 percent define themselves as ‘spiritual persons.’

(Image via Shutterstock)


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