AustraliaCommunity profile
census-message-logo

2016 Census data has been released and we are busy processing it to update this website. Read our plan.

Skip to content

In Australia, the number of non religious persons experienced the greatest change (+2,634,859) compared to non Christians and 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 - Total persons (Enumerated)20111991Change
ReligionNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %1991 to 2011
Western (Roman) Catholic5,397,09625.125.84,591,77427.428.8+805,322
Anglican3,679,62917.114.84,004,76123.922.0-325,132
Uniting Church1,065,7285.03.91,385,2088.36.7-319,480
Presbyterian and Reformed599,4772.82.3727,3314.33.6-127,854
Buddhism528,6282.53.3136,9350.81.2+391,693
Islam475,5572.23.2146,6600.91.3+328,897
Christian,nfd470,8862.22.1148,4340.90.9+322,452
Greek Orthodox383,3921.82.5356,6932.13.1+26,699
Baptist352,4781.61.7278,2471.71.7+74,231
Hinduism275,5251.31.843,0190.30.4+232,506
Lutheran251,9181.20.9248,7101.51.2+3,208
Pentecostal237,9841.11.1150,2340.90.8+87,750
Judaism97,3370.50.773,2940.40.7+24,043
Jehova's Witnesses85,6360.40.474,6710.40.4+10,965
Sikhism72,2960.30.57,7130.00.1+64,583
Other Eastern Orthodox63,5290.30.434,1580.20.3+29,371
Seventh Day Adventist62,9980.30.348,1970.30.2+14,801
Other Protestant60,2210.30.331,8990.20.2+28,322
Salvation Army60,1640.30.272,3280.40.4-12,164
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)59,7620.30.338,0520.20.2+21,710
Macedonian Orthodox52,0560.20.346,0650.30.4+5,991
Churches of Christ49,6930.20.278,1750.50.5-28,482
Serbian Orthodox41,8310.20.322,6760.10.2+19,155
Maronite Catholic30,6570.10.200.00.0+30,657
Other Christian27,0150.10.113,6060.10.1+13,409
Coptic Orthodox24,6980.10.29,7500.10.1+14,948
Other Non-Christian Religions24,3980.10.114,3100.10.1+10,088
Russian Orthodox22,2460.10.114,2030.10.1+8,043
Brethren21,7360.10.124,0160.10.1-2,280
Show me more!

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 1991 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 (Enumerated)20111991Change
Religion totalsNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %1991 to 2011
Christian total13,149,84761.158.912,422,56074.172.1+727,287
Non Christian total1,547,8217.29.9439,3352.63.7+1,108,486
Non-classifiable religious belief171,6290.80.849,0150.30.3+122,614
No religion4,796,28922.322.22,161,43012.913.7+2,634,859
Not stated1,838,6928.68.11,699,52910.110.2+139,163

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 1991 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 (Enumerated data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in religion, 1991 to 2011
Change in religion, 1991 to 2011 Western (Roman) Catholic, Australia: +805,322 Anglican, Australia: -325,132 Uniting Church, Australia: -319,480 Presbyterian and Reformed, Australia: -127,854 Buddhism, Australia: +391,693 Islam, Australia: +328,897 Christian,nfd, Australia: +322,452 Greek Orthodox, Australia: +26,699 Baptist, Australia: +74,231 Hinduism, Australia: +232,506
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 1991 and 2011 (Enumerated 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 5,397,096 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 1991 and 2011 were for those who nominated:

  • Western (Roman) Catholic (+805,322 persons)
  • Buddhism (+391,693 persons)
  • Islam (+328,897 persons)
  • Anglican (-325,132 persons)
v17.06.28-1.0.0