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In Australia, the number of non religious persons experienced the greatest change (+1,890,303) 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)20112001Change
ReligionNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2001 to 2011
Western (Roman) Catholic5,397,09625.125.84,959,27426.427.4+437,822
Anglican3,679,62917.114.83,881,15620.718.5-201,527
Uniting Church1,065,7285.03.91,248,6796.75.3-182,951
Presbyterian and Reformed599,4772.82.3637,5273.42.8-38,050
Buddhism528,6282.53.3357,8131.92.7+170,815
Islam475,5572.23.2281,5471.52.2+194,010
Christian,nfd470,8862.22.1253,2621.31.3+217,624
Greek Orthodox383,3921.82.5364,5281.92.8+18,864
Baptist352,4781.61.7309,2091.61.7+43,269
Hinduism275,5251.31.895,4750.50.7+180,050
Lutheran251,9181.20.9250,3791.31.1+1,539
Pentecostal237,9841.11.1194,6071.01.0+43,377
Judaism97,3370.50.783,9160.40.7+13,421
Jehova's Witnesses85,6360.40.481,0880.40.4+4,548
Sikhism72,2960.30.517,4000.10.1+54,896
Other Eastern Orthodox63,5290.30.450,7770.30.4+12,752
Seventh Day Adventist62,9980.30.353,8610.30.3+9,137
Other Protestant60,2210.30.352,5780.30.3+7,643
Salvation Army60,1640.30.271,3770.40.3-11,213
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)59,7620.30.349,9440.30.3+9,818
Macedonian Orthodox52,0560.20.353,2820.30.4-1,226
Churches of Christ49,6930.20.261,3200.30.3-11,627
Serbian Orthodox41,8310.20.342,4240.20.3-593
Maronite Catholic30,6570.10.231,7780.20.3-1,121
Other Christian27,0150.10.122,6470.10.1+4,368
Coptic Orthodox24,6980.10.217,8940.10.1+6,804
Other Non-Christian Religions24,3980.10.117,1030.10.1+7,295
Russian Orthodox22,2460.10.118,4510.10.1+3,795
Brethren21,7360.10.119,3190.10.1+2,417
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Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2001 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)20112001Change
Religion totalsNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2001 to 2011
Christian total13,149,84761.158.912,764,16568.065.8+385,682
Non Christian total1,547,8217.29.9908,5164.86.8+639,305
Non-classifiable religious belief171,6290.80.8354,6371.92.0-183,008
No religion4,796,28922.322.22,905,98615.515.7+1,890,303
Not stated1,838,6928.68.11,835,5939.89.6+3,099

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2001 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, 2001 to 2011
Change in religion, 2001 to 2011 Western (Roman) Catholic, Australia: +437,822 Anglican, Australia: -201,527 Uniting Church, Australia: -182,951 Presbyterian and Reformed, Australia: -38,050 Buddhism, Australia: +170,815 Islam, Australia: +194,010 Christian,nfd, Australia: +217,624 Greek Orthodox, Australia: +18,864 Baptist, Australia: +43,269 Hinduism, Australia: +180,050
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2001 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 2001 and 2011 were for those who nominated:

  • Western (Roman) Catholic (+437,822 persons)
  • Christian,nfd (+217,624 persons)
  • Anglican (-201,527 persons)
  • Islam (+194,010 persons)
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