Characteristics of Danish Centenarians’ Religious Beliefs: A Nationwide Population-Based Study

Tobias Opsahl*, Alex Kappel Kørup, Karen Andersen-Ranberg, Kaare Christensen, Niels Christian Hvidt

*Corresponding author for this work

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Research has shown that in groups of increasing age, religiousness becomes more prevalent. However, centenarians have only to a very limited extent been included in studies. The aim of this study is to characterize religious beliefs and practices in a larger sample of centenarians than have before been included in research on the matter. Using the Danish Civil Registration System, all individuals turning 100 in 2015 in Denmark were invited to participate (N = 498); 364 participated (73%) (82% women). Descriptive statistics on the centenarians’ self-reported belief, frequency of prayer and attendance at service were compared to the Danish general population. Associations between religious measures and age were examined using multivariable logistic regressions, controlling for sex and region. Centenarians more often reported being believers, praying and attending religious service, compared to all other age groups. Age, gender and region were all significant predictors of religiousness. The results of this study add to the body of the literature on religiousness and ageing, but extend it by including older age groups than have before been investigated. These findings warrant further investigations into the role of belief in this group and how it relates to mental health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)2007-2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • European values study
  • Oldest old
  • Religious coping
  • Religious practice
  • Transcendence
  • Humans
  • Religion
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Adaptation, Psychological


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