Catholicism and Protestantism have different ways of promoting the family unit that could influence survival and fertility at a population level. Parish records in the Austrian village of Hallstatt allowed the reconstruction of Catholic and Protestant genealogies over a period of 175 years (1733–1908) to evaluate how religion and social changes affected reproduction and survival. Life history traits such as lifespan beyond 15 years, number of offspring, reproductive span, children born out of wedlock and child mortality were estimated in 5678 Catholic and 3282 Protestant individuals. The interaction of sex, time and religion was checked through non-parametric factorial ANOVAs. Religion and time showed statistically significant interactions with lifespan >15 years, number of offspring and age at birth of first child. Protestants lived longer, had a larger reproductive span and an earlier age at birth of first child. Before the famine crisis of 1845–1850, Protestants showed lower values of childhood mortality than Catholics. Comparison of the number of children born out of wedlock revealed small differences between the two religions. Religion influenced reproduction and survival, as significant differences were found between Catholics and Protestants. This influence could be explained in part by differential socioeconomic characteristics, since Protestants may have enjoyed better living and sanitary conditions in Hallstatt.