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In Greater Sydney, the number of non religious persons experienced the greatest change (+192,268) compared to non Christians and Christians in 2011.

Greater Sydney'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.

Greater Sydney'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
Greater Sydney - Total persons (Usual residence)20112006Change
ReligionNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2006 to 2011
Western (Roman) Catholic1,208,77727.525.11,166,16628.325.6+42,611
Anglican707,92816.117.1738,44917.918.7-30,521
Islam208,1234.72.2161,0813.91.7+47,042
Buddhism180,4454.12.5153,1603.72.1+27,285
Uniting Church124,2172.85.0137,9963.45.7-13,779
Greek Orthodox119,8602.71.8118,1672.91.9+1,693
Hinduism113,3342.61.370,0801.70.7+43,254
Presbyterian and Reformed105,7122.42.8107,7552.63.0-2,043
Christian,nfd74,7331.72.252,0361.31.6+22,697
Baptist64,0641.51.660,9631.51.6+3,101
Pentecostal48,2011.11.146,1751.11.1+2,026
Judaism37,9830.90.535,2340.90.4+2,749
Maronite Catholic26,5120.60.126,0450.60.1+467
Other Eastern Orthodox24,2700.60.323,9540.60.3+316
Sikhism18,8150.40.39,8320.20.1+8,983
Lutheran16,9570.41.218,6800.51.3-1,723
Macedonian Orthodox16,0100.40.214,0320.30.2+1,978
Serbian Orthodox15,3050.30.214,3250.30.2+980
Coptic Orthodox14,6670.30.112,4020.30.1+2,265
Other Protestant14,1200.30.313,0430.30.3+1,077
Jehova's Witnesses12,8270.30.412,1840.30.4+643
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)12,3370.30.312,0930.30.3+244
Seventh Day Adventist11,6650.30.310,5400.30.3+1,125
Other Non-Christian Religions9,5300.20.17,0120.20.1+2,518
Assyrian Apostolic8,6870.20.06,9940.20.0+1,693
Russian Orthodox8,5400.20.17,8890.20.1+651
Salvation Army7,6980.20.38,3000.20.3-602
Other Eastern Catholic5,9360.10.15,3520.10.1+584
Armenian Apostolic5,4870.10.05,8690.10.0-382
Churches of Christ5,0420.10.25,8320.10.3-790
Other Christian4,8770.10.14,8280.10.1+49
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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
Greater Sydney - Total persons (Usual residence)20112006Change
Religion totalsNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2006 to 2011
Christian total2,672,59560.961.12,637,63264.063.9+34,963
Non Christian total580,21013.27.2447,46610.95.6+132,744
Non-classifiable religious belief28,0580.60.822,7960.60.7+5,262
No religion774,96417.622.3582,69614.118.7+192,268
Not stated335,8077.68.6428,32910.411.2-92,522

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% Islam, Australia: 2.2% Buddhism, Australia: 2.5% Uniting Church, Australia: 5.0% Greek Orthodox, Australia: 1.8% Hinduism, Australia: 1.3% Presbyterian and Reformed, Australia: 2.8% Christian,nfd, Australia: 2.2% Baptist, Australia: 1.6% Western (Roman) Catholic, Greater Sydney: 27.5% Anglican, Greater Sydney: 16.1% Islam, Greater Sydney: 4.7% Buddhism, Greater Sydney: 4.1% Uniting Church, Greater Sydney: 2.8% Greek Orthodox, Greater Sydney: 2.7% Hinduism, Greater Sydney: 2.6% Presbyterian and Reformed, Greater Sydney: 2.4% Christian,nfd, Greater Sydney: 1.7% Baptist, Greater Sydney: 1.5%
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 Western (Roman) Catholic, Greater Sydney: +42,611 Anglican, Greater Sydney: -30,521 Islam, Greater Sydney: +47,042 Buddhism, Greater Sydney: +27,285 Uniting Church, Greater Sydney: -13,779 Greek Orthodox, Greater Sydney: +1,693 Hinduism, Greater Sydney: +43,254 Presbyterian and Reformed, Greater Sydney: -2,043 Christian,nfd, Greater Sydney: +22,697 Baptist, Greater Sydney: +3,101
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 Greater Sydney 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, 74.1% of the population nominated a religion, and 17.6% said they had no religion, compared with 68.3% and 22.3% respectively for Australia.

The largest single religion in Greater Sydney was Western (Roman) Catholic, with 27.5% of the population or 1,208,777 people as adherents.

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

  • A larger percentage who nominated Islam (4.7% compared to 2.2%)
  • A larger percentage who nominated Western (Roman) Catholic (27.5% compared to 25.1%)
  • A larger percentage who nominated Buddhism (4.1% compared to 2.5%)
  • A smaller percentage who nominated Uniting Church (2.8% compared to 5.0%)

Emerging groups

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

  • Islam (+47,042 persons)
  • Hinduism (+43,254 persons)
  • Western (Roman) Catholic (+42,611 persons)
  • Anglican (-30,521 persons)
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