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

Michaela Potancoková, Sandra Jurasszovich, Anne Goujon

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung

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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.
Seiten (von - bis)905-924
FachzeitschriftJournal of International Migration and Integration
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 22 Mai 2018
Extern publiziertJa