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In Australia, the number of non religious persons experienced the greatest change (+1,091,332) 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 - Total persons (Enumerated)20112006Change
ReligionNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
Western (Roman) Catholic5,397,09625.125.85,085,86125.626.5+311,235
Anglican3,679,62917.114.83,717,05518.716.4-37,426
Uniting Church1,065,7285.03.91,135,1325.74.6-69,404
Presbyterian and Reformed599,4772.82.3596,4743.02.5+3,003
Buddhism528,6282.53.3418,6732.12.9+109,955
Islam475,5572.23.2340,3411.72.5+135,216
Christian,nfd470,8862.22.1313,1431.61.5+157,743
Greek Orthodox383,3921.82.5374,5511.92.7+8,841
Baptist352,4781.61.7316,6701.61.6+35,808
Hinduism275,5251.31.8148,1090.71.1+127,416
Lutheran251,9181.20.9251,0441.31.0+874
Pentecostal237,9841.11.1219,6561.11.1+18,328
Judaism97,3370.50.788,8230.40.7+8,514
Jehova's Witnesses85,6360.40.480,8780.40.4+4,758
Sikhism72,2960.30.526,4230.10.2+45,873
Other Eastern Orthodox63,5290.30.461,5610.30.4+1,968
Seventh Day Adventist62,9980.30.355,2500.30.2+7,748
Other Protestant60,2210.30.356,0860.30.3+4,135
Salvation Army60,1640.30.264,1940.30.3-4,030
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)59,7620.30.353,1750.30.3+6,587
Macedonian Orthodox52,0560.20.348,0840.20.3+3,972
Churches of Christ49,6930.20.254,8110.30.3-5,118
Serbian Orthodox41,8310.20.339,9740.20.3+1,857
Maronite Catholic30,6570.10.229,0740.10.2+1,583
Other Christian27,0150.10.123,8790.10.1+3,136
Coptic Orthodox24,6980.10.219,9260.10.2+4,772
Other Non-Christian Religions24,3980.10.119,9640.10.1+4,434
Russian Orthodox22,2460.10.119,9680.10.1+2,278
Brethren21,7360.10.124,2300.10.1-2,494
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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 (Enumerated)20112006Change
Religion totalsNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
Christian total13,149,84761.158.912,682,55663.961.8+467,291
Non Christian total1,547,8217.29.91,106,9435.67.8+440,878
Non-classifiable religious belief171,6290.80.8131,6990.70.7+39,930
No religion4,796,28922.322.23,704,95718.718.7+1,091,332
Not stated1,838,6928.68.12,222,11311.211.0-383,421

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 (Enumerated 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: +311,235 Anglican, Australia: -37,426 Uniting Church, Australia: -69,404 Presbyterian and Reformed, Australia: +3,003 Buddhism, Australia: +109,955 Islam, Australia: +135,216 Christian,nfd, Australia: +157,743 Greek Orthodox, Australia: +8,841 Baptist, Australia: +35,808 Hinduism, Australia: +127,416
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2006 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 2006 and 2011 were for those who nominated:

  • Western (Roman) Catholic (+311,235 persons)
  • Christian,nfd (+157,743 persons)
  • Islam (+135,216 persons)
  • Hinduism (+127,416 persons)
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