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In Australia, the number of non religious persons experienced the greatest change (+1,100,725) compared to Christians and non Christians in 2011.

Australia's religion statistics provide an indicator of cultural identity and ethnicity when observed in conjunction with other key variables. Religion data reveal the major concentrations of religions as well as revealing the proportion of people with no religious affiliation. There are a number of reasons for different religious compositions across areas including the country of birth and ethnic background of the population, the age of the population (belief in religion is generally stronger, the older the population) and changes in values and belief systems.

Australia's religion statistics should be analysed in conjunction with other ethnicity statistics such as Country of Birth data and Language Spoken data to assist in identifying specific cultural and ethnic groups.

Derived from the Census question:

'What is the person's religion?'

Total population

Religion - Ranked by size
Australia - (Usual residence)20112006Change
ReligionNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
Western (Roman) Catholic5,397,18125.125.85,079,50525.626.5+317,676
Anglican3,679,68817.114.83,711,38418.716.5-31,696
Uniting Church1,065,7495.03.91,133,6795.74.6-67,930
Presbyterian and Reformed599,4892.82.3595,5103.02.5+3,979
Buddhism528,6212.53.3417,9442.12.9+110,677
Islam475,5622.23.2339,8791.72.5+135,683
Christian,nfd470,8982.22.1312,2111.61.5+158,687
Greek Orthodox383,3901.82.5374,3211.92.7+9,069
Baptist352,4821.61.7316,1501.61.6+36,332
Hinduism275,5211.31.8147,8410.71.1+127,680
Lutheran251,9281.20.9250,6601.31.0+1,268
Pentecostal237,9921.11.1219,2661.11.1+18,726
Judaism97,3320.50.788,6950.40.7+8,637
Jehova's Witnesses85,6370.40.380,7320.40.4+4,905
Sikhism72,2960.30.526,3960.10.2+45,900
Other Eastern Orthodox63,5460.30.461,5060.30.4+2,040
Seventh Day Adventist62,9950.30.355,1250.30.2+7,870
Other Protestant60,2200.30.355,9780.30.3+4,242
Salvation Army60,1600.30.264,0650.30.3-3,905
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)59,7670.30.352,9540.30.3+6,813
Macedonian Orthodox52,0560.20.348,0570.20.3+3,999
Churches of Christ49,6890.20.254,7240.30.3-5,035
Serbian Orthodox41,8350.20.339,9400.20.3+1,895
Maronite Catholic30,6600.10.229,0600.10.2+1,600
Other Christian27,0190.10.123,8270.10.1+3,192
Coptic Orthodox24,6950.10.219,9100.10.2+4,785
Other Non-Christian Religions24,4040.10.119,8840.10.1+4,520
Russian Orthodox22,2510.10.119,9450.10.1+2,306
Brethren21,7330.10.124,2090.10.1-2,476
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Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Excludes religions with fewer than 20 adherents, or less than 0.1% of the total population.

Religion - Summary
Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20112006Change
Religion totalsNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
Christian total13,150,07861.158.912,664,54763.961.8+485,531
Non Christian total1,547,8067.29.91,105,0055.67.8+442,801
Non-classifiable religious belief171,6330.80.8131,1040.70.7+40,529
No religion4,796,43222.322.23,695,70718.718.7+1,100,725
Not stated1,838,7408.68.22,216,63611.211.1-377,896

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Religion, 2011
Religion, 2011 Western (Roman) Catholic, Greater Capital Cities: 25.8% Anglican, Greater Capital Cities: 14.8% Uniting Church, Greater Capital Cities: 3.9% Presbyterian and Reformed, Greater Capital Cities: 2.3% Buddhism, Greater Capital Cities: 3.3% Islam, Greater Capital Cities: 3.2% Christian,nfd, Greater Capital Cities: 2.1% Greek Orthodox, Greater Capital Cities: 2.5% Baptist, Greater Capital Cities: 1.7% Hinduism, Greater Capital Cities: 1.8% Western (Roman) Catholic, Australia: 25.1% Anglican, Australia: 17.1% Uniting Church, Australia: 5.0% Presbyterian and Reformed, Australia: 2.8% Buddhism, Australia: 2.5% Islam, Australia: 2.2% Christian,nfd, Australia: 2.2% Greek Orthodox, Australia: 1.8% Baptist, Australia: 1.6% Hinduism, Australia: 1.3%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in religion, 2006 to 2011
Change in religion, 2006 to 2011 Western (Roman) Catholic, Australia: +317,676 Anglican, Australia: -31,696 Uniting Church, Australia: -67,930 Presbyterian and Reformed, Australia: +3,979 Buddhism, Australia: +110,677 Islam, Australia: +135,683 Christian,nfd, Australia: +158,687 Greek Orthodox, Australia: +9,069 Baptist, Australia: +36,332 Hinduism, Australia: +127,680
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2006 and 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the religious affiliation of the population of Australia in 2011 compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was a similar proportion of people who professed a religion as well as a similar proportion who stated they had no religion.

Overall, 68.3% of the population nominated a religion, and 22.3% said they had no religion, compared with 68.8% and 22.2% respectively for Greater Capital Cities.

The largest single religion in Australia was Western (Roman) Catholic, with 25.1% of the population or 5,397,181 people as adherents.

The major differences between the religious affiliation for the population of Australia and Greater Capital Cities were:

  • A larger percentage who nominated Anglican (17.1% compared to 14.8%)
  • A larger percentage who nominated Uniting Church (5.0% compared to 3.9%)

Emerging groups

The largest changes in the religious affiliation of the population in Australia between 2006 and 2011 were for those who nominated:

  • Western (Roman) Catholic (+317,676 persons)
  • Christian,nfd (+158,687 persons)
  • Islam (+135,683 persons)
  • Hinduism (+127,680 persons)