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In South Australia, the number of non religious persons experienced the greatest change (+82,153) compared to non Christians and Christians in 2011.

South 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.

South 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
South Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20112006Change
ReligionNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2006 to 2011
Western (Roman) Catholic317,00919.925.1304,02220.125.6+12,987
Anglican200,41912.617.1207,33413.718.7-6,915
Uniting Church142,3958.95.0151,39810.05.7-9,003
Lutheran71,4164.51.271,1514.71.3+265
Greek Orthodox36,8022.31.836,6862.41.9+116
Christian,nfd36,7232.32.224,3351.61.6+12,388
Buddhism29,0451.82.523,1441.52.1+5,901
Baptist27,1801.71.626,1381.71.6+1,042
Presbyterian and Reformed20,3071.32.821,0011.43.0-694
Islam19,5381.22.210,4890.71.7+9,049
Pentecostal19,3421.21.120,0401.31.1-698
Hinduism13,6160.91.35,1140.30.7+8,502
Jehova's Witnesses6,3020.40.46,3600.40.4-58
Churches of Christ6,0740.40.27,1420.50.3-1,068
Sikhism5,3010.30.31,2300.10.1+4,071
Salvation Army5,0790.30.35,4800.40.3-401
Serbian Orthodox3,6430.20.23,6660.20.2-23
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)3,4030.20.33,4180.20.3-15
Other Protestant3,0150.20.32,7680.20.3+247
Other Eastern Orthodox2,8930.20.32,8540.20.3+39
Christadelphian2,8840.20.02,7140.20.1+170
Seventh Day Adventist2,6200.20.32,3290.20.3+291
Other Non-Christian Religions1,7240.10.11,6920.10.1+32
Other Christian1,6960.10.11,4510.10.1+245
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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
South Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20112006Change
Religion totalsNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2006 to 2011
Christian total914,35957.361.1904,80559.963.9+9,554
Non Christian total77,2564.87.249,0093.25.6+28,247
Non-classifiable religious belief13,7210.90.810,4100.70.7+3,311
No religion448,49628.122.3366,34324.218.7+82,153
Not stated142,7568.98.6181,15612.011.2-38,400

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, Australia: 25.1% Anglican, Australia: 17.1% Uniting Church, Australia: 5.0% Lutheran, Australia: 1.2% Greek Orthodox, Australia: 1.8% Christian,nfd, Australia: 2.2% Buddhism, Australia: 2.5% Baptist, Australia: 1.6% Presbyterian and Reformed, Australia: 2.8% Islam, Australia: 2.2% Western (Roman) Catholic, South Australia: 19.9% Anglican, South Australia: 12.6% Uniting Church, South Australia: 8.9% Lutheran, South Australia: 4.5% Greek Orthodox, South Australia: 2.3% Christian,nfd, South Australia: 2.3% Buddhism, South Australia: 1.8% Baptist, South Australia: 1.7% Presbyterian and Reformed, South Australia: 1.3% Islam, South Australia: 1.2%
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, South Australia: +12,987 Anglican, South Australia: -6,915 Uniting Church, South Australia: -9,003 Lutheran, South Australia: +265 Greek Orthodox, South Australia: +116 Christian,nfd, South Australia: +12,388 Buddhism, South Australia: +5,901 Baptist, South Australia: +1,042 Presbyterian and Reformed, South Australia: -694 Islam, South Australia: +9,049
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 South Australia in 2011 compared to Australia shows that there was a lower proportion of people who professed a religion and a higher proportion who stated they had no religion.

Overall, 62.1% of the population nominated a religion, and 28.1% said they had no religion, compared with 68.3% and 22.3% respectively for Australia.

The largest single religion in South Australia was Western (Roman) Catholic, with 19.9% of the population or 317,009 people as adherents.

The major differences between the religious affiliation for the population of South Australia and Australia were:

  • A larger percentage who nominated Uniting Church (8.9% compared to 5.0%)
  • A larger percentage who nominated Lutheran (4.5% compared to 1.2%)
  • A smaller percentage who nominated Western (Roman) Catholic (19.9% compared to 25.1%)
  • A smaller percentage who nominated Anglican (12.6% compared to 17.1%)

Emerging groups

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

  • Western (Roman) Catholic (+12,987 persons)
  • Christian,nfd (+12,388 persons)
  • Islam (+9,049 persons)
  • Uniting Church (-9,003 persons)
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