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Greater Western Sydney Region

Religion

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

In the Greater Western Sydney Region, the number of non religious persons experienced the greatest change (+144,604) compared to non Christians and Christians in 2016.

The Greater Western Sydney Region'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.

The Greater Western Sydney Region'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
Greater Western Sydney Region - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
ReligionNumber%Greater Sydney %Number%Greater Sydney %2011 to 2016
Western (Roman) Catholic557,10725.824.2575,37529.627.5-18,269
Anglican243,42911.312.0293,69915.116.1-50,270
Islam182,9528.55.3143,5477.44.7+39,404
Hinduism108,9785.13.570,9803.72.6+37,997
Buddhism102,5714.83.9101,5455.24.1+1,025
Christian,nfd57,5862.72.236,3791.91.7+21,207
Presbyterian and Reformed40,0491.92.042,6712.22.4-2,623
Uniting Church39,3721.82.049,7232.62.8-10,352
Greek Orthodox35,1331.62.435,5231.82.7-390
Pentecostal30,9231.41.127,6641.41.1+3,258
Baptist30,6211.41.232,0461.61.5-1,426
Maronite Catholic22,9321.10.718,2740.90.6+4,657
Sikhism22,1141.00.614,5350.70.4+7,579
Other Protestant11,4780.50.57,2210.40.3+4,257
Assyrian Apostolic10,3260.50.28,0740.40.2+2,252
Serbian Orthodox10,1790.50.310,0730.50.3+106
Other Non-Christian Religions10,0260.50.36,6150.30.2+3,410
Coptic Orthodox9,9600.50.38,8000.50.3+1,160
Other Eastern Catholic9,3340.40.25,0440.30.1+4,290
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)9,2390.40.38,9090.50.3+330
Seventh Day Adventist6,6920.30.26,5820.30.3+109
Jehova's Witnesses6,5450.30.27,0290.40.3-484
Macedonian Orthodox6,4450.30.36,3690.30.4+76
Other Eastern Orthodox5,1440.20.214,3550.70.6-9,211
Lutheran3,6720.20.26,5700.30.4-2,898
Russian Orthodox3,5950.20.23,9980.20.2-403
Salvation Army2,8990.10.13,7830.20.2-884
Churches of Christ2,5560.10.12,8030.10.1-247
Brethren2,4510.10.12,6350.10.1-184
Other Oriental Orthodox2,2640.10.11,7310.10.1+533
Baha'i2,2630.10.12,0340.10.1+229
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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
Greater Western Sydney Region - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
Religion totalsNumber%Greater Sydney %Number%Greater Sydney %2011 to 2016
Christian total1,163,93053.951.71,220,18462.860.9-56,254
Non Christian total432,70320.114.4343,73817.713.2+88,965
Non-classifiable religious belief8,4500.40.59,8410.50.6-1,391
No religion383,79217.824.9239,18712.317.6+144,604
Not stated167,6757.88.5130,3936.77.6+37,282

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, Greater Sydney: 24.2% Anglican, Greater Sydney: 12.0% Islam, Greater Sydney: 5.3% Hinduism, Greater Sydney: 3.5% Buddhism, Greater Sydney: 3.9% Christian,nfd, Greater Sydney: 2.2% Presbyterian and Reformed, Greater Sydney: 2.0% Uniting Church, Greater Sydney: 2.0% Greek Orthodox, Greater Sydney: 2.4% Pentecostal, Greater Sydney: 1.1% Western (Roman) Catholic, Greater Western Sydney Region: 25.8% Anglican, Greater Western Sydney Region: 11.3% Islam, Greater Western Sydney Region: 8.5% Hinduism, Greater Western Sydney Region: 5.1% Buddhism, Greater Western Sydney Region: 4.8% Christian,nfd, Greater Western Sydney Region: 2.7% Presbyterian and Reformed, Greater Western Sydney Region: 1.9% Uniting Church, Greater Western Sydney Region: 1.8% Greek Orthodox, Greater Western Sydney Region: 1.6% Pentecostal, Greater Western Sydney Region: 1.4%
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, Greater Western Sydney Region: -18,269 Anglican, Greater Western Sydney Region: -50,270 Islam, Greater Western Sydney Region: +39,404 Hinduism, Greater Western Sydney Region: +37,997 Buddhism, Greater Western Sydney Region: +1,025 Christian,nfd, Greater Western Sydney Region: +21,207 Presbyterian and Reformed, Greater Western Sydney Region: -2,623 Uniting Church, Greater Western Sydney Region: -10,352 Greek Orthodox, Greater Western Sydney Region: -390 Pentecostal, Greater Western Sydney Region: +3,258
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 the Greater Western Sydney Region in 2016 compared to Greater Sydney shows that there was a higher proportion of people who professed a religion and a lower proportion who stated they had no religion.

Overall, 74.0% of the population nominated a religion, and 17.8% said they had no religion, compared with 66.2% and 24.9% respectively for Greater Sydney.

The largest single religion in the Greater Western Sydney Region was Western (Roman) Catholic, with 25.8% of the population or 557,107 people as adherents.

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

  • A larger percentage who nominated Islam (8.5% compared to 5.3%)
  • A larger percentage who nominated Western (Roman) Catholic (25.8% compared to 24.2%)
  • A larger percentage who nominated Hinduism (5.1% compared to 3.5%)

Emerging groups

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

  • Anglican (-50,270 persons)
  • Islam (+39,404 persons)
  • Hinduism (+37,997 persons)
  • Christian,nfd (+21,207 persons)
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