Vaud: 36% of inhabitants without confession, but not without spirituality – Swiss Catholic Portal

Some 36% of Waldensians declare themselves to be without confession, this proportion of the population is not necessarily without spiritual references. Whether one is Protestant, Catholic or Muslim, living one’s faith or one’s spirituality differs above all according to generation and gender. This is explained by the special issue of numberpublished by “Statistique Vaud” on December 7, 2021.

In 2019, Statistique Vaud, the Vaud statistics institute, identified 28% Catholics, 21% Protestants, 5% Muslims and 36% people without confession.

Being Catholic or Protestant does not necessarily imply belief in a single god. Catholics are moreover only 49% to believe in it and Protestants 41%. Belief in some sort of higher power attracts more than one out of five Catholics and more than a quarter of Protestants. Moreover, approximately one in five Catholics and as many among Protestants claim to be agnostic.

Religion and spirituality are nevertheless important in the life of the population of Vaud in certain areas. Thus, nearly one in two people attach importance to it in difficult times. In the event of illness, just as in the attitude towards the environment or in the upbringing of children, four out of ten people refer to it.

Religious and spiritual beliefs mix and diversify and practices become individualized. Moreover, not belonging to any religion does not mean not believing. Belief in the gift of healing or clairvoyance (55%) and belief in angels or supernatural beings (43%) are those that are most shared among the population.

Personal development and the practice, in a spiritual way, of a technique based on movement or breathing are more often exercised by women (31% compared to 16% of men) and people of no faith.

The younger generations define themselves more often without religious affiliation. Conversely, among Protestants, we find the largest proportion of people aged 65 and over.

Key to reading the practices and spiritual references of the population, the structure by age and gender of religious orientations reflects the migratory history of the canton.

Two out of five people say they believe in a single god, the rest of the population is split between belief in some sort of higher power (22%), agnosticism (19%) and atheism (18%). In terms of collective practice, more than one in two people took part in a religious service at least once a year. Among them, 84% did so for social reasons, that is to say to attend a wedding, a baptism or a funeral ceremony. (

One in five people pray every day
More than a third (36%) of the population of Vaud prays at least once a month, more than half of them every day or almost. The daily practice concerns more than a quarter (27%) of women and a third (32%) of people aged 65 and over, against only 15% of men and 12% of the youngest. S.V.

Statistics on religion and spirituality
Information on religion and spirituality comes from two sample surveys carried out by the Federal Statistical Office:
the Structural Survey (RS) and the Language, Religion and Culture Survey (ELRC). The RS is an annual survey that covers some 38,000 Vaudois men and women aged 15 or over. The distribution of religious orientations comes from this source. The ELRC, the first edition of which took place in 2014, is carried out every five years. S.V.

Vaud: 36% of inhabitants without confession, but not without spirituality – Swiss Catholic Portal