Religion in Australia



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Australia is basically a Christian country, although it has no official state religion.

The first part of that statement is based on the numbers of Australian Residents that consider themselves as Christian.

In 1901 the number that considered themselves as Christian, in the official census, was 96.1%, with 2.5% stating no religion.

100 years later, by 2001, these numbers had become: 68.0% Christian, with 27.1% stating no religion.

Over this 100 years the number who consider themselves as Christian had dropped considerably, from 98.1% to 68.0%.


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Those who considered themselves as not religious had grown from 2.5% to 27.1%.

Other religions, during this time frame, had grown from 1.4% to 4.9%.

The actual numbers are shown in this table 1901-2006:

Year Christian Other No Religion/Not Stated
1901 96.1% 1.4% 2.5%
1911 95.9% 0.8% 3.3%
1921 96.9% 0.7% 2.4%
1933 86.4% 0.4% 13.2%
1947 88.0% 0.5% 11.5%
1954 89.4% 0.6% 10.0%
1961 88.3% 0.7% 11.0%
1966 88.2% 0.7% 11.1%
1971 86.2% 0.8% 13.0%
1976 78.6% 1.0% 20.4%
1981 76.4% 1.4% 22.2%
1986 73.0% 2.0% 25.0%
1991 74.0% 2.6% 23.4%
1996 70.9% 3.5% 25.6%
2001 68.0% 4.9% 27.1%
2006 63.9% 5.6% 30.5%
2011 61.1% 7.2% 31.7%

 

If this trend continues, the result in 50 years time will be something like this:

Year Christian Other No Religion/Not Stated
2061 33.90% 13.70% 52.40%

 

In 2006 the breakdown between different religions was:

  • 63.9% Christian
  • 05.6% Non-Christian
  • 18.7% No religion
  • 11.2% Not stated

The Christian breakdown was:

63.9% Christian

  • 25.8% Catholic
  • 18.7% Anglican
  • 05.7% Uniting Church
  • 03.0% Presbyterian and Reformed
  • 02.7% Eastern Orthodox

The Non-Christian breakdown was:
5.6% Non-Christian

  • 2.1% Buddhism
  • 1.7% Islam
  • 0.7% Hinduism
  • 0.4% Judaism

The above figures (ex 2011) are sourced from the ABS 1301.0 – Year Book Australia 2006.

Update: Religion in Australia 2011

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