Norway

Catholicism in Norway is a small minority faith in a country that still has an established state Lutheran church and high levels of religious affiliation, but low levels of religious practice. Norway ranks as one of the world’s wealthiest countries, is unusually egalitarian in its values and ranks highest in the world on the U.N. Human Development Index for overall health, education and economic well-being.

A variety of forces are altering Norway’s sense of itself, and creating space for Catholic life and practice in a more multicultural society, even as immigrant Catholics and their children adapt to or struggle with cultural norms that are important to Norwegian identity.

Bergen, a small city in the northern periphery of Europe, is home to what could be the most diverse Catholic parish in the world. The historically Lutheran but now very secular city may be the last place one would expect it, but Norway’s oil wealth and generous social programs have drawn migrants from all parts of the world, and the Catholic community has grown rapidly as a result. Read more...

    Religious Affiliation
    Chart source: Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project, 2010
    Total Population
    5,353,363 1
    Urban
    82.2% 1
    Rural
    17.8% 1
    Immigrants as % of Population
    15.7% 2
    Homicides
    0.54 per 100,000 people (global median: 5.8) 3
    Level of Public Corruption
    84 (100 is very clean, 0 is highly corrupt) 4
    Gender Gap Ranking based on economy, health, education, and politics
    2 (146 is the lowest ranked country; 1 is the highest ranked country) 8
    Fertility Rate
    1.50 live births per woman 5
    Under-Five Mortality Rate
    2.00 deaths per 1,000 live births 5
    Life Expectancy at Birth
    83 years 5
    Internet Users
    99% 6
    GDP per Capita
    US$75,420 5
    Population Living Below US$2.15 per Day
    0.2% 7
    Religious Freedom: Government Restrictions Index (GRI)
    3 - Moderate
    Religious Freedom: Social Hostilities Index (SHI)
    2.4 - Moderate

    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
    170,000
    Baptized Catholics as % of Total Population
    3.17
    Baptisms per Year (Under age 7)
    928
    Baptisms per Year (Over age 7)
    54
    First Communions per Year
    1,004
    Confirmations per Year
    958
    Students Enrolled in Catholic Primary Schools
    1,175
    Students Enrolled in Catholic Secondary Schools
    338
    Church Marriages per Year
    72
    Church Marriages in Which Both Spouses are Catholics
    32
    Priests
    117
    Women Religious (Nuns & Sisters)
    128
    Catholics per Priest
    1,457
    Parishes
    41