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In Australia, the number of non religious persons experienced the greatest change (+1,900,912) 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 (Usual residence)20112001Change
ReligionNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2001 to 2011
Western (Roman) Catholic5,397,18125.125.84,950,99426.427.5+446,187
Anglican3,679,68817.114.83,873,18020.718.5-193,492
Uniting Church1,065,7495.03.91,246,3056.75.4-180,556
Presbyterian and Reformed599,4892.82.3636,1573.42.8-36,668
Buddhism528,6212.53.3357,0111.92.7+171,610
Islam475,5622.23.2281,1401.52.2+194,422
Christian,nfd470,8982.22.1252,3541.31.3+218,544
Greek Orthodox383,3901.82.5364,2761.92.8+19,114
Baptist352,4821.61.7308,5051.61.7+43,977
Hinduism275,5211.31.895,2700.50.7+180,251
Lutheran251,9281.20.9249,7531.31.1+2,175
Pentecostal237,9921.11.1194,1551.01.0+43,837
Judaism97,3320.50.783,9430.40.7+13,389
Jehova's Witnesses85,6370.40.380,8910.40.4+4,746
Sikhism72,2960.30.517,4370.10.1+54,859
Other Eastern Orthodox63,5460.30.450,6710.30.4+12,875
Seventh Day Adventist62,9950.30.353,7100.30.3+9,285
Other Protestant60,2200.30.352,4490.30.3+7,771
Salvation Army60,1600.30.271,2680.40.3-11,108
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)59,7670.30.349,6510.30.3+10,116
Macedonian Orthodox52,0560.20.353,2580.30.4-1,202
Churches of Christ49,6890.20.261,1600.30.3-11,471
Serbian Orthodox41,8350.20.342,3640.20.3-529
Maronite Catholic30,6600.10.231,7630.20.3-1,103
Other Christian27,0190.10.122,5730.10.1+4,446
Coptic Orthodox24,6950.10.217,9070.10.1+6,788
Other Non-Christian Religions24,4040.10.117,0930.10.1+7,311
Russian Orthodox22,2510.10.118,4930.10.1+3,758
Brethren21,7330.10.119,3470.10.1+2,386
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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 (Usual residence)20112001Change
Religion totalsNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2001 to 2011
Christian total13,150,07861.158.912,740,02068.066.0+410,058
Non Christian total1,547,8067.29.9906,6644.86.8+641,142
Non-classifiable religious belief171,6330.80.8352,7891.92.0-181,156
No religion4,796,43222.322.22,895,52015.515.7+1,900,912
Not stated1,838,7408.68.21,829,3479.89.5+9,393

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 (Usual residence 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: +446,187 Anglican, Australia: -193,492 Uniting Church, Australia: -180,556 Presbyterian and Reformed, Australia: -36,668 Buddhism, Australia: +171,610 Islam, Australia: +194,422 Christian,nfd, Australia: +218,544 Greek Orthodox, Australia: +19,114 Baptist, Australia: +43,977 Hinduism, Australia: +180,251
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2001 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 2001 and 2011 were for those who nominated:

  • Western (Roman) Catholic (+446,187 persons)
  • Christian,nfd (+218,544 persons)
  • Islam (+194,422 persons)
  • Anglican (-193,492 persons)
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