Norwegians have experienced a revelation.
For the first time since polls have been measuring this sort of thing, the number of Norwegians who don’t believe in God has surpassed the number who do. According to a survey of 4000 people by the annual social-cultural study Norwegian Monitor, 39% declared they were atheists, 37% said they were believers and 23% were agnostic.
Two years ago when a similar survey was taken, the number of believers versus non-believers was equal, so there has been a sea-change in the land of the snows.
The numbers also indicate a divergence between urban populations like the capital of Norway, Oslo, where only 29% said surveyed said they were believers and the more sparsely populated areas like the county of Vest-Agder where 44% of those surveyed believed in God.
The figures mark a clear change from just two years ago, when the number of believers versus non-believers was still equal.
In the country’s capital, Oslo, only 29 per cent said they were believers, while the sparsely-populated county of Vest-Agder in the north-west had the most believers at 44 per cent.
Belief in an all powerful God apparently does not lead to happiness, since Norway is ranked as the fourth happiest country in the world.