Statistics for 2016 show that 25% of Switzerland’s residents have no religion. As recently as 1960 the same figure was less than 1%.
The percentage with no faith shows significant regional variations. While only 19% of Italian speakers have no religion, 24% in German-speaking Switzerland and 30% in French-speaking Switzerland don’t.
Foreigners (30%) are more likely than Swiss (23%) to have no religion.
The US is thought by many to be highly religious. However, it is a highly varied patchwork of religiosity. In the most religious state Mississippi, only 12% say they are of no religion, according to Gallup. At the other end of the spectrum is Vermont, a state where 58% say they are not religious.
If Switzerland were a state of the US it would be somewhere between North Dakota (26%) and Texas (24%) on the no-religion scale. French-speaking Switzerland would be Iowa (30%), Indiana (30%) or New Mexico (30%), German-speaking Switzerland would be Kentucky (24%), Texas (24%) or West Virginia (24%), and Italian-speaking Switzerland South Carolina (19%).
A survey published last year in the UK suggests 53% there have no religion. The Sunday Assembly, a secular “church” which operates across the UK with the tag line: “Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More”, offers a secular alternative to religious gatherings. It describes itself as doctrine free and radically inclusive.
In countries that allow religious choice, it appears growing numbers are choosing to leave religion behind.