Greater Melbourne

Religion

In Greater Melbourne, the number of non religious persons experienced the greatest change (+208,224) compared to non Christians and Christians in 2011.

Greater Melbourne'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 Melbourne'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 Melbourne20112006Change
ReligionNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2006 to 2011
Western (Roman) Catholic1,082,26427.125.11,027,83928.225.6+54,425
Anglican431,37410.817.1443,04912.218.7-11,675
Greek Orthodox161,1624.01.8156,4324.31.9+4,730
Buddhism158,6354.02.5126,1563.52.1+32,479
Islam144,6493.62.2103,2282.81.7+41,421
Uniting Church135,2333.45.0146,8244.05.7-11,591
Presbyterian and Reformed85,4972.12.885,2122.33.0+285
Hinduism79,7572.01.340,5331.10.7+39,224
Christian,nfd74,3031.92.251,4821.41.6+22,821
Baptist58,6061.51.652,1321.41.6+6,474
Judaism44,5611.10.540,4711.10.4+4,090
Pentecostal36,3350.91.130,3290.81.1+6,006
Sikhism27,8440.70.38,7090.20.1+19,135
Lutheran23,6740.61.224,5740.71.3-900
Other Eastern Orthodox21,9310.50.320,3040.60.3+1,627
Macedonian Orthodox20,7270.50.220,3470.60.2+380
Other Protestant11,2880.30.310,0330.30.3+1,255
Serbian Orthodox11,2380.30.211,5360.30.2-298
Jehova's Witnesses10,6390.30.49,7860.30.4+853
Churches of Christ9,0770.20.210,1660.30.3-1,089
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)8,9020.20.37,8580.20.3+1,044
Seventh Day Adventist7,7850.20.36,6270.20.3+1,158
Salvation Army7,6760.20.38,2070.20.3-531
Coptic Orthodox6,7610.20.15,3100.10.1+1,451
Russian Orthodox5,3630.10.14,7140.10.1+649
Other Non-Christian Religions4,9650.10.14,0950.10.1+870
Other Christian4,1530.10.13,5140.10.1+639
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Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.hidden

Excludes religions with fewer than 20 adherents, or less than 0.1% of the total population.

Religion - summary
Greater Melbourne20112006Change
Religion totalsNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2006 to 2011
Christian total2,231,05455.861.12,150,75059.063.9+80,304
Non Christian total472,05411.87.2333,5109.15.6+138,544
Non-classifiable religious belief34,4730.90.827,5310.80.7+6,942
No religion939,21923.522.3730,99520.018.7+208,224
Not stated323,1588.18.6403,30111.111.2-80,143

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.

Religion, 2011
Religion, 2011 Western (Roman) Catholic, Australia: 25.1% Anglican, Australia: 17.1% Greek Orthodox, Australia: 1.8% Buddhism, Australia: 2.5% Islam, Australia: 2.2% Uniting Church, Australia: 5.0% Presbyterian and Reformed, Australia: 2.8% Hinduism, Australia: 1.3% Christian,nfd, Australia: 2.2% Baptist, Australia: 1.6% Western (Roman) Catholic, Greater Melbourne: 27.1% Anglican, Greater Melbourne: 10.8% Greek Orthodox, Greater Melbourne: 4.0% Buddhism, Greater Melbourne: 4.0% Islam, Greater Melbourne: 3.6% Uniting Church, Greater Melbourne: 3.4% Presbyterian and Reformed, Greater Melbourne: 2.1% Hinduism, Greater Melbourne: 2.0% Christian,nfd, Greater Melbourne: 1.9% Baptist, Greater Melbourne: 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 Melbourne: +54,425 Anglican, Greater Melbourne: -11,675 Greek Orthodox, Greater Melbourne: +4,730 Buddhism, Greater Melbourne: +32,479 Islam, Greater Melbourne: +41,421 Uniting Church, Greater Melbourne: -11,591 Presbyterian and Reformed, Greater Melbourne: +285 Hinduism, Greater Melbourne: +39,224 Christian,nfd, Greater Melbourne: +22,821 Baptist, Greater Melbourne: +6,474
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 Melbourne 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, 67.6% of the population nominated a religion, and 23.5% said they had no religion, compared with 68.3% and 22.3% respectively for Australia.

The largest single religion in Greater Melbourne was Western (Roman) Catholic, with 27.1% of the population or 1,082,264 people as adherents.

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

  • A larger percentage who nominated Greek Orthodox (4.0% compared to 1.8%)
  • A larger percentage who nominated Western (Roman) Catholic (27.1% compared to 25.1%)
  • A smaller percentage who nominated Anglican (10.8% compared to 17.1%)
  • A smaller percentage who nominated Uniting Church (3.4% compared to 5.0%)

Emerging groups

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

  • Western (Roman) Catholic (+54,425 persons)
  • Islam (+41,421 persons)
  • Hinduism (+39,224 persons)
  • Buddhism (+32,479 persons)