More than 90 % of the amateur musicians in the Catholic church sing. There were around 230,500 members in adult church choirs, almost 45,800 in children's choirs, around 23,350 in youth choirs and more than 5,500 members in plainchant choirs. Instrumental ensembles had almost 18,000 members, approx. 6,400 people made music in the other ensembles such as family choirs, worship or effata groups.
A total of 15,183 ensembles were organised in the Catholic Church in 2021, of which more than half were adult church choirs (approx. 8,500) and almost a quarter were children's and youth choirs (3,630 in total).
The number of amateur musicians in the Catholic Church has been declining in recent years. Between 2010 and 2013, the figure was around 400,000, after which in 2019 it fell below 350,000. In the past ten years, the decline in the number of members in choirs and instrumental ensembles (-17 %) was more pronounced than the declining development of the total Catholic Church membership in Germany (-11.5 %).
The figures given above are taken from an annual survey conducted by the Working Committee of the Administrative Bodies and Departments for Church Music in Germany’s Dioceses (AGÄR). It includes all features of relevance to church music, from amateur members and ensembles to the employment of full-time and part-time church musicians.
- AGÄR did not collect any data for the year 2008.
- Due to the introduction of Internet-based recording software into the survey procedure, the data provided for 2012 is incomplete. The figures presented for 2012 are therefore based on an estimate by AGÄR.
- E.g. family choirs, worship or effata groups.
Compiled and calculated by the German Music Information Centre from figures provided by the Working Committee of the Administrative Bodies and Departments for Church Music in Germany’s Dioceses and the Secretariat of the German Bishops’ Conference.