Aiming to gain insights into the future of the population size and religious composition of Vienna, WIREL developed three scenarios of both demographic and religious change in Vienna between 2011 and 2046. The trend scenario is in line with the 2012 population projections of Statistics Austria regarding fertility, mortality, and migration assumptions of the total population. WIREL elaborated demographic differentials by religion as well as assumptions about future secularisation rates and rates of religious transmission from mothers to new-born children.
Two additional narrative-driven scenarios were developed to show alternative futures, which do not necessarily follow the observed trends. They rather show how policy changes (from 2016 onwards) might affect demographic dynamics and societal change, and hence the religious demography of Vienna. Contrary to the trend scenario, policy changes in the secularisation scenario would lead to a restriction of immigration to EU citizens only. Beyond that, societal developments would support further strong secularisation accompanied by a fast convergence of the demographic behaviour of religious groups in Vienna.
The segmentation scenario portrays another alternative future where policy measures would allow unrestricted immigration and, at the same time, would drop existing integration measures. This would lead to a further increase of minority groups, not least because a reduced potential for contacts between religious groups might alter the currently obeserved trends of convergent demographic behaviour and secularisation.
WIREL scenario assumptions