Practicing Muslims outnumber Catholics for the first time in France

According to INSEE, followers of Islam are the best performers at passing down the faith to their children.

France's National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) revealed that, for the first time, practicing Muslims outnumber Catholics in the country. The study indicates that 58% of people between the ages of 18 and 59 who declare Islam as their religion fulfill their religious obligations, compared to 15% for the main branch of Christianity. Furthermore, Mohammedans also prevail in the transmission of the faith, since 91% of the children of declared Muslims confirm that they belong to the same creed as their parents, compared to 67% of the followers of Jesus.

In absolute terms, the majority of French people (51%) declared that they had no religion. Among believers, Catholicism is the creed with the largest number of people who consider themselves members in the country. According to the report Religious Diversity in France: intergenerational transmissions and practices according to origins 29% of the population identifies itself as Catholic. Islam, with 10%, consolidates second place, while adherents of other faiths represent 9% of the population.

Prayer and attendance at places of worship

Among practitioners, however, the situation has turned around, with Muslims ranking far above all other religions. According to the sample collected, 58% of the followers of the Koran perform weekly prayers, while 20% frequently attend a place of worship. Among Catholics, only 15% pray regularly, while only 8% attend church regularly. Other faiths reach 31% in terms of prayer, while attendance at places of worship amounts to 22%.

Chart from the French INSEE showing that Muslim practitioners are the most numerous in France.

Muslims and Jews, better than Catholics at transmitting the faith in France

When it comes to transmitting the faith to the new generations, Muslims also lead the ranking. 91% of children whose parents claim to be followers of Muhammad's teachings consider themselves Muslims. Jews are the second best at getting their children to carry on their parents' legacy, at 84%. Among Catholics, however, only 67% of the new generations repeat the religion of their parents.

Graph showing the transmission of faith in France according to parents' religion.