The city of Vienna had a large Catholic majority until the 1970s. Since then, secularisation and the influx of international migrants diversified the religious landscape.

Based on data from five Austrian censuses, researchers from the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital reconstructed Vienna’s demographic structure by age, sex and religion between 1971 and 2011. Their research project WIREL addresses the role of religions in shaping the social and demographic structure of the population of Vienna (I already reported on that in an older metropop post).

The increasing religious diversity of Vienna since 1971 was visualised by Ramon Bauer, Tina Frank, Anne Goujon and Clemens Schrammel. Their data visualisation connects the city’s changing demographic and religious landscape by highlighting changes in the religious composition as well as population size and age structure. The visualisation also shows how secularisation, migration, fertility and marriage patterns are linked to religious and demographic change in Vienna.

Try it yourself  by hovering over the chart area to change the period. Click on the four forces to see how they affect the population structure over time. Or even better, visit the webpage of the dataviz at – where you will find loads of additional information, as well as a more pleasant layout (compared to the slightly distorted iframe-version below which I had to squeeze into the slim metropop layout).

According to Anne Goujon, head of the WIREL research group, the aim of the reconstruction of the city’s religious composition is to produce a sound data basis for population projections of Vienna by age, sex and religion. Goujon and her team are already working on the scenarios for these projections which are planned to be published by the end of 2014.


Additional information

The WIREL dataviz website provides loads of additional information on the research project, the reconstruction of the religious composition, as well as links to a poster version of the data visualisation, the WIREL dataset and also to the source code of the interactive online visualisation at Github.


Diversity matters
Migration & Integration
More Demography
Urban Diversity

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