Consequences of International Migration on the Size and Composition of Religious Groups in Austria

Potancoková, Michaela and Jurasszovich, Sandra and Goujon, Anne (2018) Consequences of International Migration on the Size and Composition of Religious Groups in Austria. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 19 (4). pp. 905-924. ISSN 1488-3473

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

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Scientific knowledge on a population's religious composition is essential to understand the challenges faced by societies today. It arises in opposition to speculations about the actual size of religious groups that have been increasingly present in the public discourse in Europe for many years. This is particularly the case in Austria where the flows of refugees and migrants coming from the Middle East and Afghanistan have intensified since 2011 and culminated in 2015. These sparked a debate on the actual size of the Muslim population in Austria. This study fills the gap by presenting estimates of the religious composition for 2016 and projections until 2046 based on several scenarios related to the three major forces affecting the religious composition: migration (including asylum seekers), differential fertility and secularisation. The projections demonstrate that religious diversity is bound to increase, mostly through immigration and fertility. We further focus on the role and implications of international migration on the age and sex composition within the six religious groups: Roman Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Muslims, other religions and unaffiliated. We find that the volume and composition of international migrants can maintain youthful age compositions in minority religions - Muslims and Orthodox. Sustained immigration leads to slower ageing but does not stop or reverse the process. The disparity between older majority and younger minority religious groups will further increase the cultural generation gap.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open access funding provided by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). The research presented in this article received financial support from the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF).
Keywords: Population projections; Religion International; migration Austria; Age structure; Sex ratio
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Sozialpolitik > Demographie > Wittgenstein Centre
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2018 14:42
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2020 15:50
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