Australia  |  

Aussies are getting less religious

Supply of “No Religion”/potential converts increases

Nearly 30 per cent of Australians say they have “no religion”, according to the latest Census data, up from nearly 22 per cent in the 2011 Census, and 0.8 per cent in 1966.

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Only one in two Australians (52.1 per cent) self-identify as Christian, with 22.6 per cent identifying as Catholic, and 13.3 per cent as Anglican. In 2011, 61 per cent of Aussies identified as Christian, and in 1966, it was 88.2 per cent.

The growth in people identifying as “no religion” may be because, in 2016, the answers to the “religious affiliation” question were reordered so that “no religion” came first, instead of “Catholic”.

Facebook post by ACC encouraging church members to identify as "Pentecostal" in the census

Facebook post by ACC encouraging church members to identify as “Pentecostal” in the census Australian Christian Churches

Earlier this year, a new study released by McCrindle Research, in partnership with Olive Tree Media, Christian Media and Arts Association, Christian Schools Australia and the Ministry Training Strategy, was called the Faith and Belief in Australia report. It showed that 45 per cent of Australians identify as Christians, with a further 14 per cent identifying as “spiritual but not religious”.

CLICK TO READ: Results are in: Aussies admire people who live out a genuine faith.

The study revealed that more than half of Australians (52 per cent) said they were open to changing their views given the right circumstance and evidence. But this number dropped dramatically to just 12 per cent, when we look at those people who are “very interested” or “quite open” to changing their current religious views.

While almost all Christian denominations saw decreases, non-Christian religions like Islam and Hinduism recorded slight increases.

The Guardian put together this graph to chart religious affiliation over time.

Family

Marriage rates have remained stable over the last five years, with 48.1 per cent of Australians aged 15 years or over saying they are married (slightly down from 48.7 per cent in 2011) and 11.7 per cent identifying as divorced or separated (8.5 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively), slightly up from 11.4 per cent in 2011.

The composition of families is almost identical to five years ago with 44.7 per cent of families being couples with children, while 37.8 per cent are couples without children. 15.8 per cent were one parent families.

Ageing

One in six Australians are now over the age of 65. This group accounts for 16 per cent of the total population, compared to 14 per cent in 2011. The census counted 664,473 more people aged 65 and over than five years ago.

Ethnicity

Roughly half of all Australians were born overseas, or had one parent born overseas. The top five countries of birth (excluding Australia) are: England, New Zealand, China, India and the Philippines.

More Census details to come. 

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