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Atlas of European Values: How Europeans think about God, sex, work and Europe...

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  • Atlas of European Values: How Europeans think about God, sex, work and Europe...

    The Irish are very happy, the Turks hardly feel European, and a large majority of Europeans believe in God. The Dutch and Scandinavians are the most modern world citizens. These are a few results from the Atlas of European Values, a co-publication of Tilburg University and Brill Academic Publishers. The Atlas shows the opinions and feelings of Europeans through 200 maps and graphs. Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende will receive the first copy of the Atlas in The Hague on Thursday, June 23.

    More than 800 million people can call themselves Europeans: from Finland to Malta and from Iceland to Azerbaijan. Their cultures and societies have all been influenced by the Roman Empire, Christianity, Enlightenment and two World Wars. This communal history has not led to one European culture. The importance of God, the value of leisure time, the significance of having children and the disapproval of homosexuality all differ enormously between countries.

    This diversity is made visible in the full color Atlas of European Values. Made by three researchers at the University of Tilburg, Loek Halman, Ruud Luijkx and Marga van Zundert, the atlas is based on the results of the European Values Study. This cross-national research project asks questions about Europe, politics, family, religion and work since 1980. The survey is done in 33 countries and is conducted every ten years.

    Europeans are happy and religiousResults per chapter

    The Atlas contains seven thematic chapters. Here are some conclusions per chapter.

    EuropeFamily: 90% of the Latvians think that children are necessary for a meaningful life, whereas only 8% of the Dutch think so. Approximately 70% of the European parents expect unconditional loyalty from their children. And an equal percentage thinks that parents should do the utmost for their children, even if it is at the cost of their own well-being.

    WorkReligion: More than 60% of the Dutch call themselves religious. The importance of God however gets a score of only 4.9 in the Netherlands compared to 9.2 on Malta. Three quarters of the Croatians believe in angels, one third of the Turks believe in re-incarnation. In Russia and Sweden less than 10% attends a religious service on a monthly basis.

    PoliticsSociety: A one-night stand is only acceptable to youth in Northern Europe. There is a very wide range of acceptance to non-acceptance of homosexuality in Europe. Only 10% of the Portuguese think that people can be trusted. Poverty is ascribed to bad luck only in the Netherlands. Drug addicts are the least favorable neighbors all over Europe.

    HappinessModernity: The Danes, the Swedes and the Dutch score highest on a modernity score which includes personal freedom, tolerance and emancipation. These scores are also very high compared to countries outside Europe.

    Note for the press

    The Atlas of European Values (ISBN: 90 04 14460 9, 140 pages, 200 maps, full color) has been written by Loek Halman, Ruud Luijkx en Marga van Zundert of Tilburg University. The Atlas is published by Brill Academic Publishers. A selection of texts, maps and graphs is freely available on

    The first copy of the Atlas of European Values will be presented to prime minister Jan-Peter Balkenende in Nieuwspoort in The Hague. The researchers will be available for questions. For more information, please contact : Anja Huijben, Department of External Affairs, University of Tilburg, tel. +31-13-466-2000, email: [email protected]

    For question about the research itself, please contact professor Wil Arts, tel: +31-13 466 2648, e-mail: [email protected] or one of the authors Loek Halman, tel: +31-13 466 2015, e-mail: [email protected]
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