Portugal: Regional Distribution of Resident Population, by religion
ReligionMainland,
in 1,000s
Azores,
in 1,000s
Madeira,
in 1,000s
Catholic6,668.06179.40195.56
Without religion1,211.5812.0813.47
Protestant/Evangelical183.141.731.97
Other Christian88.660.901.39
Jehovahs Witnesses61.260.991.36
Orthodox59.570.190.63
Muslim36.240.070.17
Other non Christian23.880.210.28
Hindu19.350.030.09
Buddhist16.300.180.28
Jewish2.850.030.03
  • Region: Portugal
  • Time period: 2021
  • Published: Nov 2022

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 27, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Catholicism dominates in Portugal with a significant majority

Catholicism is the most prominent religion across all regions of Portugal, encompassing a staggering 6,668.06 thousand Catholics in Mainland Portugal, 179.40 thousand in the Azores, and 195.56 thousand in Madeira. This demonstrates the deep-rooted presence and influence of Catholicism in Portuguese culture and society.

The rise of secularism is evident but varies by region

The number of individuals without religion indicates a notable secular trend, with 1,211.58 thousand in Mainland Portugal, 12.08 thousand in the Azores, and 13.47 thousand in Madeira. Mainland Portugal shows a significantly higher inclination towards secularism compared to the island regions, reflecting a possible urban-rural divide in religious beliefs.

Minority religions show a varied presence across regions

Protestant/Evangelical and Orthodox Christianity, along with Islam and other non-Christian faiths, exhibit a diverse religious landscape. Protestant/Evangelical followers number 183.14 thousand in Mainland Portugal, contrasted with smaller communities in the Azores (1.73 thousand) and Madeira (1.97 thousand). Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and adherents of other non-Christian religions also have a presence, albeit smaller, highlighting Portugal's multicultural and multi-faith composition.

Jehovah's Witnesses and Orthodox Christians maintain consistent communities

Jehovah's Witnesses and Orthodox Christians have established consistent communities across Portugal, with Jehovah's Witnesses numbering 61.26 thousand in Mainland Portugal and Orthodox Christians at 59.57 thousand. These numbers indicate a stable foothold for these faiths within the country's religious fabric.

Smaller religious groups illustrate Portugal's religious diversity

Hindus, Buddhists, and Jews, although representing smaller segments of the population, contribute to Portugal's religious diversity. With Hindus at 19.35 thousand, Buddhists at 16.30 thousand, and Jews at 2.85 thousand in Mainland Portugal, these communities underscore the variety of religious expression and practice within the nation.

Island regions show distinct religious profiles

The Azores and Madeira demonstrate distinct religious profiles with comparatively smaller non-Catholic communities. For instance, Jehovah's Witnesses and Buddhists are more prevalent in Madeira (1.36 thousand and 0.28 thousand, respectively) than in the Azores (0.99 thousand and 0.18 thousand), highlighting regional variations in religious affiliation.

The religious composition signals a complex social fabric

Portugal's religious composition, from the dominant Catholic majority to the varied minority religions, signals a complex social fabric that is both deeply traditional and progressively diverse. This complexity mirrors broader European trends of secularization and the increasing multicultural makeup of societies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the dominant religion in Portugal?

The dominant religion in Portugal is Catholicism, with 6,668.06 thousand adherents in Mainland Portugal.

How prevalent is secularism in Portugal?

Secularism is notable in Portugal, especially in Mainland Portugal with 1,211.58 thousand individuals identifying as non-religious.

Terms and Definitions

Refers to all people, regardless of nationality or legal status, who usually live in a particular region at a given time. It includes citizens, foreign nationals, and refugees, and excludes tourists or transient visitors.

A set of beliefs regarding the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, often involving devotional and ritual observances, and containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. These beliefs are usually centered around one or more deities or spiritual entities.

A religion practiced by a minority of the population of a country, state, or region. Minority religions may not be the dominant cultural norm or the most practiced religion in the area.

Refers to religions that are most widely accepted and practiced within a particular society or region. In the context of Portugal, mainstream religions will be those with the highest adherence rates among the population.

An idea or a belief system that promotes the separation of religion from civic affairs and the state. It affirms that public activities and decisions, especially political ones, should be uninfluenced by religious beliefs.
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