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In Regional NSW, the number of non religious persons experienced the greatest change (+111,216) compared to non Christians and Christians in 2011.

Regional NSW'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.

Regional NSW'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
Regional NSW - Total persons (Usual residence)20112006Change
ReligionNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2006 to 2011
Anglican668,43726.617.1686,40828.218.7-17,971
Western (Roman) Catholic658,57826.225.1647,27726.625.6+11,301
Uniting Church146,5105.85.0161,3286.65.7-14,818
Presbyterian and Reformed105,9194.22.8111,5364.63.0-5,617
Christian,nfd48,7881.92.234,7791.41.6+14,009
Baptist35,6771.41.635,1801.41.6+497
Pentecostal23,1150.91.123,0360.91.1+79
Buddhism20,3640.82.514,7060.62.1+5,658
Lutheran16,0780.61.216,9930.71.3-915
Seventh Day Adventist11,7140.50.311,1800.50.3+534
Greek Orthodox11,6520.51.811,9300.51.9-278
Salvation Army11,2300.40.312,1710.50.3-941
Jehova's Witnesses11,0480.40.410,5480.40.4+500
Islam10,9720.42.27,6560.31.7+3,316
Macedonian Orthodox7,4760.30.26,5330.30.2+943
Hinduism6,4130.31.33,9020.20.7+2,511
Other Eastern Orthodox5,0610.20.35,6060.20.3-545
Other Protestant4,4460.20.34,1750.20.3+271
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)4,0060.20.33,8930.20.3+113
Brethren3,5980.10.13,5500.10.1+48
Sikhism2,9220.10.31,7350.10.1+1,187
Churches of Christ2,8740.10.23,5740.10.3-700
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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
Regional NSW - Total persons (Usual residence)20112006Change
Religion totalsNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2006 to 2011
Christian total1,783,63371.061.11,796,60773.963.9-12,974
Non Christian total51,6902.17.237,4351.55.6+14,255
Non-classifiable religious belief19,4940.80.814,2800.60.7+5,214
No religion462,59718.422.3351,38114.518.7+111,216
Not stated195,5367.88.6230,4899.511.2-34,953

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 Anglican, Australia: 17.1% Western (Roman) Catholic, Australia: 25.1% Uniting Church, Australia: 5.0% Presbyterian and Reformed, Australia: 2.8% Christian,nfd, Australia: 2.2% Baptist, Australia: 1.6% Pentecostal, Australia: 1.1% Buddhism, Australia: 2.5% Lutheran, Australia: 1.2% Seventh Day Adventist, Australia: 0.3% Anglican, Regional NSW: 26.6% Western (Roman) Catholic, Regional NSW: 26.2% Uniting Church, Regional NSW: 5.8% Presbyterian and Reformed, Regional NSW: 4.2% Christian,nfd, Regional NSW: 1.9% Baptist, Regional NSW: 1.4% Pentecostal, Regional NSW: 0.9% Buddhism, Regional NSW: 0.8% Lutheran, Regional NSW: 0.6% Seventh Day Adventist, Regional NSW: 0.5%
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 Anglican, Regional NSW: -17,971 Western (Roman) Catholic, Regional NSW: +11,301 Uniting Church, Regional NSW: -14,818 Presbyterian and Reformed, Regional NSW: -5,617 Christian,nfd, Regional NSW: +14,009 Baptist, Regional NSW: +497 Pentecostal, Regional NSW: +79 Buddhism, Regional NSW: +5,658 Lutheran, Regional NSW: -915 Seventh Day Adventist, Regional NSW: +534
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 Regional NSW in 2011 compared to Australia shows that there was a higher proportion of people who professed a religion and a lower proportion who stated they had no religion.

Overall, 73.0% of the population nominated a religion, and 18.4% said they had no religion, compared with 68.3% and 22.3% respectively for Australia.

The largest single religion in Regional NSW was Anglican, with 26.6% of the population or 668,437 people as adherents.

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

  • A larger percentage who nominated Anglican (26.6% compared to 17.1%)
  • A larger percentage who nominated Presbyterian and Reformed (4.2% compared to 2.8%)
  • A smaller percentage who nominated Islam (0.4% compared to 2.2%)
  • A smaller percentage who nominated Buddhism (0.8% compared to 2.5%)

Emerging groups

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

  • Anglican (-17,971 persons)
  • Uniting Church (-14,818 persons)
  • Christian,nfd (+14,009 persons)
  • Western (Roman) Catholic (+11,301 persons)
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