Germany is the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation, but for centuries it has been divided religiously between a majority Catholic south and west, and a majority Protestant north and east.  In 1950, Protestants represented almost 60% of the population and Catholics 37%, but according to church rolls today, 30% of Germans are Catholic, 30% unaffiliated, 29% are Protestant and 10% are other religions.  Residents of territory in the former East Germany are religiously affiliated at a much lower rate than in the former West Germany.1  

Germans define their culture as secular, however those who declare their religion to the state are charged a church tax. The German bishops' conference estimated in 2017 that a little over 10% of Catholics were regular Mass attenders.  Some non-practicing Catholics still opt to pay the tax to support the church, while some who self-identify as Catholic do not declare in order to avoid the tax.  In 2016, more than 162,000 Catholics unenrolled from Catholic church membership in the tax rolls, a slightly smaller number than the 171,000 who were baptized that year.2

A 2017 Pew survey reported that 7% of self-identified Catholics in Germany said that they pray daily; 12% that they believe in God with absolute certainty, 12% that religion is very important in their lives; 33% that they attend religious services at least monthly, 10% that they try to persuade other adults to adopt their religious views, 29% that they wear or carry religious symbols. These numbers are quite comparable to figures for their Protestant co-nationalists.3  

Berlin, which is covered here, is its vibrant, cosmopolitan capital city, a mecca for young people and artists, and a global city that attracts immigrants from around the world. Catholicism is a minority religion in the capital. Read more...

    Religious Affiliation
    Chart source: Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project, 2010
    Total Population
    82,293,457 1
    77.30% 1
    22.70% 1
    Immigrants as % of Population
    14.9% 2
    0.85 per 100,000 people (global median 6.9) 3
    Level of Public Corruption
    10 (1=lowest, 176=highest corruption) 4
    Gender Equality in the Economy, Health, Education and Politics
    13 (1=most equal, 144=least equal) 5
    Fertility Rate
    1.41 births per adult woman 6
    Children Who Do Not Live to Age 5
    0.40% 6
    Life Expectancy at Birth
    81 years 6
    Internet Users
    86% 6
    Gross National Income per Capita
    US$47,640 6
    • 1 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2018). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, Online Edition.
    • 2 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2015 revision.
    • 3 United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Homicide Statistics 2015.
    • 4 Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index 2016.
    • 5 World Economic Forum, The Global Gender Gap Report, 2016.
    • 6 UNICEF, State of the World's Children, 2016.

    These statistics are derived from the Vatican's official publication, Statistical Yearbook of the Church 2020 (Vatican City: Librera Editrice Vaticana, 2022). The numbers may differ from data reported by other sources on this site.

    Baptized Catholics
    Baptized Catholics as % of Total Population
    Baptisms per Year (Under age 7)
    Baptisms per Year (Over age 7)
    First Communions per Year
    Confirmations per Year
    Students Enrolled in Catholic Primary Schools
    Students Enrolled in Catholic Secondary Schools
    Students Enrolled in Catholic Higher Education
    Church Marriages per Year
    Church Marriages in Which Both Spouses are Catholics
    Women Religious (Nuns & Sisters)
    Catholics per Priest
    Mission Stations (no resident priests)
    Catholic Hospitals
    Homes for Aged, Handicapped, Invalids