Western Sydney Regional Organisation of CouncilsCommunity profile
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In the WSROC Region, the number of non religious persons experienced the greatest change (+99,751) compared to non Christians and Christians in 2016.

The WSROC 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 WSROC 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
WSROC Region - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
ReligionNumber%Greater Sydney %Number%Greater Sydney %2011 to 2016
Western (Roman) Catholic389,33025.624.2406,87229.627.5-17,542
Anglican151,94310.012.0187,35713.616.1-35,414
Islam120,5397.95.396,3767.04.7+24,163
Hinduism91,7716.03.560,0154.42.6+31,755
Buddhism79,6205.23.980,3865.94.1-767
Christian,nfd42,3592.82.226,5481.91.7+15,811
Presbyterian and Reformed28,0781.82.029,8502.22.4-1,773
Uniting Church26,1921.72.033,3722.42.8-7,180
Pentecostal21,3801.41.119,0251.41.1+2,355
Baptist21,2211.41.221,9171.61.5-697
Greek Orthodox21,0741.42.421,7021.62.7-629
Sikhism18,9171.20.612,3570.90.4+6,559
Maronite Catholic15,1811.00.712,5980.90.6+2,582
Assyrian Apostolic9,9620.70.27,9270.60.2+2,035
Serbian Orthodox8,8640.60.38,7830.60.3+80
Other Non-Christian Religions8,8600.60.35,7420.40.2+3,118
Other Eastern Catholic8,4810.60.24,4950.30.1+3,986
Other Protestant8,4320.60.55,1860.40.3+3,246
Coptic Orthodox7,0390.50.36,3350.50.3+704
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)6,3590.40.36,1200.40.3+239
Jehova's Witnesses4,6790.30.25,0890.40.3-410
Seventh Day Adventist4,6030.30.24,5950.30.3+8
Macedonian Orthodox3,4910.20.33,2490.20.4+242
Other Eastern Orthodox3,3160.20.210,5740.80.6-7,258
Russian Orthodox2,7280.20.23,0350.20.2-307
Lutheran2,2960.20.24,2540.30.4-1,958
Churches of Christ2,0330.10.12,2000.20.1-167
Salvation Army2,0020.10.12,6570.20.2-655
Other Oriental Orthodox1,7610.10.11,3240.10.1+437
Baha'i1,6490.10.11,4580.10.1+191
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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
WSROC Region - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
Religion totalsNumber%Greater Sydney %Number%Greater Sydney %2011 to 2016
Christian total797,20852.551.7840,37561.260.9-43,167
Non Christian total324,13021.314.4259,57418.913.2+64,555
Non-classifiable religious belief6,3010.40.57,3740.50.6-1,073
No religion270,86017.824.9171,10812.517.6+99,751
Not stated121,4148.08.594,5996.97.6+26,814

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% Pentecostal, Greater Sydney: 1.1% Baptist, Greater Sydney: 1.2% Western (Roman) Catholic, WSROC Region: 25.6% Anglican, WSROC Region: 10.0% Islam, WSROC Region: 7.9% Hinduism, WSROC Region: 6.0% Buddhism, WSROC Region: 5.2% Christian,nfd, WSROC Region: 2.8% Presbyterian and Reformed, WSROC Region: 1.8% Uniting Church, WSROC Region: 1.7% Pentecostal, WSROC Region: 1.4% Baptist, WSROC 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, WSROC Region: -17,542 Anglican, WSROC Region: -35,414 Islam, WSROC Region: +24,163 Hinduism, WSROC Region: +31,755 Buddhism, WSROC Region: -767 Christian,nfd, WSROC Region: +15,811 Presbyterian and Reformed, WSROC Region: -1,773 Uniting Church, WSROC Region: -7,180 Pentecostal, WSROC Region: +2,355 Baptist, WSROC Region: -697
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 WSROC 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, 73.8% 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 WSROC Region was Western (Roman) Catholic, with 25.6% of the population or 389,330 people as adherents.

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

  • A larger percentage who nominated Islam (7.9% compared to 5.3%)
  • A larger percentage who nominated Hinduism (6.0% compared to 3.5%)
  • A larger percentage who nominated Buddhism (5.2% compared to 3.9%)
  • A smaller percentage who nominated Anglican (10.0% compared to 12.0%)

Emerging groups

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

  • Anglican (-35,414 persons)
  • Hinduism (+31,755 persons)
  • Islam (+24,163 persons)
  • Western (Roman) Catholic (-17,542 persons)
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