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This topic has been updated with 2016 Census data for all areas. What's this?

In Western Australia, the number of non religious persons experienced the greatest change (+239,874) compared to Christians and non Christians in 2016.

Western 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.

Western 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.

Please note: Due to changes in ABS rules around perturbation and additivity of data to protect the confidentiality of individuals in 2016, counts of individual religion groups and totals derived from them may differ slightly from those published by the ABS. For more information see notes on data confidentiality.

Derived from the Census question:

'What is the person's religion?'

Total population

Religion - Ranked by size
Western Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
ReligionNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2011 to 2016
Western (Roman) Catholic529,05221.422.3528,79323.625.1+259
Anglican354,79014.313.3421,08918.817.1-66,299
Christian,nfd83,6703.42.662,8002.82.2+20,870
Uniting Church56,6882.33.774,3673.35.0-17,679
Buddhism52,8302.12.447,3852.12.5+5,445
Islam50,6492.02.639,1161.72.2+11,533
Presbyterian and Reformed44,7881.82.348,8922.22.8-4,104
Baptist42,1161.71.541,6931.91.6+423
Hinduism38,7391.61.921,0480.91.3+17,691
Pentecostal26,1951.11.124,6321.11.1+1,563
Other Protestant16,5210.70.58,4420.40.3+8,079
Greek Orthodox13,6830.61.613,7490.61.8-66
Sikhism11,8970.50.54,9270.20.3+6,970
Jehova's Witnesses11,0890.40.411,2400.50.4-151
Lutheran7,9270.30.713,1500.61.2-5,223
Churches of Christ7,4930.30.210,1420.50.2-2,649
Seventh Day Adventist7,1120.30.36,8970.30.3+215
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)6,7990.30.36,7150.30.3+84
Judaism5,4270.20.45,8090.30.5-382
Macedonian Orthodox4,5120.20.24,7760.20.2-264
Salvation Army4,3830.20.25,5240.20.3-1,141
Serbian Orthodox3,5110.10.23,8020.20.2-291
Other Christian2,6960.10.13,5830.20.1-887
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Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2011 and 2016. 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
Western Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
Religion totalsNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2011 to 2016
Christian total1,231,68049.852.11,300,39458.161.1-68,714
Non Christian total170,8526.98.2130,0055.87.2+40,847
Non-classifiable religious belief16,0180.60.619,7450.90.8-3,727
No religion811,81232.829.9571,93825.522.3+239,874
Not stated244,0259.99.1217,1089.78.6+26,917

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2011 and 2016. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Religion, 2016
Religion, 2016 Western (Roman) Catholic, Australia: 22.3% Anglican, Australia: 13.3% Christian,nfd, Australia: 2.6% Uniting Church, Australia: 3.7% Buddhism, Australia: 2.4% Islam, Australia: 2.6% Presbyterian and Reformed, Australia: 2.3% Baptist, Australia: 1.5% Hinduism, Australia: 1.9% Pentecostal, Australia: 1.1% Western (Roman) Catholic, Western Australia: 21.4% Anglican, Western Australia: 14.3% Christian,nfd, Western Australia: 3.4% Uniting Church, Western Australia: 2.3% Buddhism, Western Australia: 2.1% Islam, Western Australia: 2.0% Presbyterian and Reformed, Western Australia: 1.8% Baptist, Western Australia: 1.7% Hinduism, Western Australia: 1.6% Pentecostal, Western Australia: 1.1%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2016 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in religion, 2011 to 2016
Change in religion, 2011 to 2016 Western (Roman) Catholic, Western Australia: +259 Anglican, Western Australia: -66,299 Christian,nfd, Western Australia: +20,870 Uniting Church, Western Australia: -17,679 Buddhism, Western Australia: +5,445 Islam, Western Australia: +11,533 Presbyterian and Reformed, Western Australia: -4,104 Baptist, Western Australia: +423 Hinduism, Western Australia: +17,691 Pentecostal, Western Australia: +1,563
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016 (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 Western Australia in 2016 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, 56.7% of the population nominated a religion, and 32.8% said they had no religion, compared with 60.4% and 29.9% respectively for Australia.

The largest single religion in Western Australia was Western (Roman) Catholic, with 21.4% of the population or 529,052 people as adherents.

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

  • A larger percentage who nominated Anglican (14.3% compared to 13.3%)
  • A smaller percentage who nominated Uniting Church (2.3% compared to 3.7%)
  • A smaller percentage who nominated Greek Orthodox (0.6% compared to 1.6%)

Emerging groups

The largest changes in the religious affiliation of the population in Western Australia between 2011 and 2016 were for those who nominated:

  • Anglican (-66,299 persons)
  • Christian,nfd (+20,870 persons)
  • Hinduism (+17,691 persons)
  • Uniting Church (-17,679 persons)
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