Diversity Maps

The maps show a topographical analysis of the data collected in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Religious plurality is made visible via a diversity index, which takes the number of religious communities and the percentage of its affiliates into account. The degree of diversity shows the distribution of the religious communities in the respective areas. A diversity Index of 0 means the monopoly of just one religious community. The closer the diversity index gets to 1, the more diverse the religious situation is. The diversity index is not a fixed value but rather depending on the parameters that it is based on. For a single district it can only be interpretated in relation to its surroundings. This can be done on the map by comparing the different diversity indices in the neighbouring districts and towns.


The maps show that religious diversity is primarily an urban phenomenon. There is more diversity in the urban centres than in the rural areas which tend to be more homogeneous and traditional as far as religion is concerned. This leads to important questions for future pluralisation research, looking at what makes the city or urban context so productive in terms of religion. Another question would be whether the plural religion situation in the cities can be seen as paving the general development of the religious landscape. These question are at the core of further projects currently applied for.