A Demographic Snapshot of Christianity and Church Attenders in Australia

Friday, April 18, 2014

Steady declines:

The proportion of Australians identifying Christianity as their religion has been declining over the last century – from 96% in 1911 to 61.1% in the 2011 Census. Over the last decade, Christianity in Australia has declined from 68% to 61.1%.

Still Australia’s largest religion:

The number of Australians identifying with Christianity is more than 24 times larger than the numbers identifying with the second largest religion in Australia, Buddhism (2.5%). Indeed, the proportion of Australians identifying with Christianity as their religion is more than eight times larger than Australians identifying with all other religions combined (7.3%).

Spiritual, not religious:

Over the last four decades, the number of Australians selecting “no religion” on the Census has more than tripled from 6.7% (1971) to 22.3% (2011) of the population. However the majority selecting this response could be classified as “spiritual not religious” rather than “neither spiritual nor religious”. In the 2011 Census, only 2.2% of the “no religion” respondents indicated “atheist”, “agnostic”, “humanist” or “rationalist” as their worldview.

Church attendance declining but still significant:

National Church Life Survey (NCLS) data shows that over the last four decades the proportion of Australians attending church at least once per month has more than halved from 36% (1972) to 15% currently. However this is still a significant proportion of the Australian population and indeed twice as many Australians attend church at least once per month (3.495m) as attend all AFL, NRL, A League and Super Rugby games combined per month (1.684m) during the football season.

Church goers advocacy and public policy:

The NCLS data (2011) shows that most Christians believe that Christians should be active in public policy through making public comment on policy issues (80% support this), advocating and lobbying governments (75%), and almost two-thirds (63%) believe that the church should publically advocate on policy issues, and more than two-thirds (68.5%) believe that church goers should campaign for global poverty and injustice issues.

Church attendees ageing but new generations emerging:

Along with an ageing national population, the NCLS data shows the church going population is also ageing with an average age of adult church attenders being 53. While the 70 plus age group are strongly represented in church (comprising 12% of the population but 25% of all church attendees), the age groups under 50 are underrepresented. This divide is increasingly evident with the younger generations, for example the 20-39 year olds make up 34% of the population but just 21% of church attenders.

However the denominational grouping with the youngest church attending population is also the fastest growing denomination. Pentecostal churches had an average age of attending adults as 39 and they have a total church going population of 12% of all church goers. This means that Pentecostal churches are now the second largest denominational grouping of church attenders after Catholics (46%) and ahead of Anglicans (11%).

Download Christianity and Church Attenders in Australia. Click here to download the full report.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


world presentations suburb sydney speaker education future report grave decision renting award middle class local community volunteering royal family mccrindle aged care social analysis work from home optus survey design daily telegraph Assistant Store Manager baby social issues Christmas in Australia house prices public transport live the dream high school affordability social commentator forum Do It Yourself 2016 census communication Performance Sentiment Index youth alpha Scouts rich social researcher emerging generations food bank Australian Communities Trends Christchurch conference presentation learning styles REIV National Conference SMSF domestic fresh What is food insecurity? sector internship insights TDE speajer maiden goals not for profit Deaths surname equip office event learner trends of 2017 futurist hello fresh student WA Hornsby Shire Council Australian communities publication infographic state sector wide study menai safe property development focus group balance parents poker master real gig economy social analyst group session ipswich generation Z sydney event data analyst Northern beaches Event australia renter of the future sentiments poor shopping centre Christmas research entrepreneurs of today population map Australian community trends Business analysis TED facts Tuesday Trend know the times events workshop the average aussie children outsourcing earnings goal personalities Christmas data Real Estate Institute of Victoria internet volunteers tips retirement home ownership changing face of sydney in depth interviews 2014 royal McCrindle Speakers jobs of the future norwest entertainment rental stress income analysis mccrindle tea future-proof resource water Retail Jura Australia the hills australian Financial Planning Association of Australia proactive megatrends Lower Hunter Region cold leadership workshop communicate award winner research report earn engagement housing Skilling housing growth property rent dreaming data visualisation Cobbitty-Leppington consumerism social change divorce rate high density living fears repayments sector wide dreams social enquiry trend tuesday Generation Y earning Australian schools slideshare hills Gen Y friends travel sydney property market Christmas season Kiwi waverton conferences snapshot medicine affordable sydney metro stay home office opening apartments global retail brands resilience media activity grandparents pharmacies car follow donate property market demography forecasting data tea IT Specialists ethnography Christmas day coffee lovers commute the changing face of speakers Tuesday Trends builders ageing population train states Sydney’s south west click the australian dream university degree Wagga Wagga litter residents population growth typical australian generation research pack social life growth cartodb Aussie keynote educhat researcher Territory going out rain stats faux-ciliser Northern Beaches Christian School 2012 emerging trends teacher impact professional development society cancelling event wedding group faux-cilising demographic transformations workplace culture population demographics GPO social trends narcissism dream supply and demand professional speaker System's Architect gen alpha Australia Day Black Friday in Australia high density socialising workplace house price rise panel christmas schools students 2016 census results infographic wall school HSC investing contiki community environmental scanning Kirsten Brewer local education child care statistics visual cost of living Work place Australian Families mining boom celebration Lower Hunter thought leadership showreel home average aussie couple mother's day low density Geoff Brailey pyrmont housing affordability future of work socialites anzac future of shopping optimistic university global the great screenage aged care puzzle insight Adelaide wealth distribution marrickville NT travelling increasing densification winter blues business index HR small business food insecurity SA Research Executive public speaker financial planning Research Director mobile motivate holiday demographic trends thrive February 16 charity christian census fail global financial crisis authenticity urban development story training JOMO employment sunny days internships SMART Australian Census royal influence optus my business awards wage wealth and income distribution lifestyle research services Myth christmas trees 40 million 24 million innovation social commentary chairty Maxim Accounting speaker easy rider gold coast divorce land of the middle class mythbusters Sydney change sun consumer names leadersip healthy future unaffordable kate middleton men employmee christianity students 10 years VIC news 1980 teach households life economic faux-cilise demographer Jura Coffee Financial Planning Week hills shire urban living index recap Education Future Forum McCridle workforce father's day Christmas day weather victoria educated young australians Black Friday staff community engagement urban owning a home trend cancelling plans newspaper baby name English brand experience Res Vis rule keeper community event VET national wealth toys christmas 2017 jobs education research Duchess of Cambridge screenage summer acf15 Love media ashley fell financial independence australians staying home more tattoos education sector 1968 research on coffee Australia street culturally diverse transport post rationalism mentor challenge presentation staying in bondi millennials Aussies bureau Vocational education engage teleworking mccrindle in the media cars business performance wealth and income 24,000,000 VET sector ACF 2016 apartment organisations brand living school satisfaction Australian Trends Financial Planning Association Australian Dream Gen X sustainable technology census data social media micro cica hornsby pharmacy hobart australian social research 2015 generations business TAS nfp speakers pack marketing Mark McCrindle growth of sydney purpose lalor park Western Australia digital economy results year 12 program eliane miles tv Population Clock spend relational belief average Australian money employers hunger house price buildings rise of local greatness eliane employmer blaxland Elderslie-Harrington park financial dreams Word Up mateship woolworths parenting giving younger generations the lucky country plans Netflix Valentine’s Day 23 million product breakfast google CPI Mount Annan-Currant Hill capital cities mythbusting innovative google for education Northern Territory shopper's pick research generation alpha wealth priorities year 7 intern suburban living language research data population milestone vegetarian ultimo McCrindle Keynote Speakers 1975 Hills Shire Council mover and shaker graphs TEDx Speaker volunteering data ACT organisational culture Gen Z Expert FOMO surnames spirituality growing population teachers neutral bay Canberra Births sydneysider "know the times" household future proof gen z property price Sydney Lifestyle Study research visualisation holidays meals define Bathburst cooking responsive maiden names conference speaker Australian Bureau of Statistics media commentary entrepreneur networking australian community trends report Royals New Zealand entrepreneurial world youth day urban living australian real estate housing trends national private wealth learning ashley mckenzie sydneycity daily commute Engineering Manager women Social Trend global generations online shopping list social research commuting FPA criminal census 2016 average sydneysider schools relevant case study office space local communities professional social australian communities trends report Black Friday Sales 2013 Wodonga communications debate capital city Queensland wolloomooloo meetings digital study social shifts Sydney keynote speaker aussie culture gig hopes government home owner dessert nativity scene financial fears baby names report public holiday career collaborative selfie The ABC of XYZ work mates marriages trends analyst New South Wales wages social lives finance charities sydney market South Australia SRE cultural diversity collaboration darwin youth unemployment future friendship market research leader weather future of education investor not-for-profit crows nest baby names young people suburbs personal growth Australian Home Channel 7 Charlotte future proofing marriage debt TEDx volunteer interactive Australians mccrindle research skills DESTEL Generation X care support Australian demographics trades wealth inequality manly seasons religion national crime rates happiness customer seasons greetings experience ferry ACF2017 faith ease of travel high density apartments clothing culture budget urban taskforce emerging technologies vegemite winter NBRS environment shifts Merry Christmas micro apartments leadership omnibus townhouses curiosity ACT Report NFP event communities Melbourne education future food brisbane families financial report storytelling Macquarie University etiquette US tableau moreton bay cancel plans easter coffee 1994 professional presenters twentyseventeen australian communities forum quote casual economy NEETs baby boomers Andrew Duffin house PSI potts point professional services Caregiver 2017 perth Queensland: QLD NSW Real Estate royal baby #censusfail media release census sydney hills new york times Christmas lunch millionth princess charlotte commuters sydneysiders huffington post ideas ageing focus groups tertiary education Christmas presents shopping society trends sunburnt country Mark McCrindle in the media paying to work trends annual income in the media long weekend careers deloitte online non profit financial future family rising house prices wellbeing city Australia Day 2017 new office identity baby name trends CBD tuesday bus baby name predictions overcast survey weekly earnings ACF McCrindle Speaker infographics social impact cultural diveristy ACF17 January 26th Wellington teaching screenagers shbc choice workers visualisation Christmas Stats crime work dare to dream energy Tasmania 2020 village The Daily Edition social researchers sports James Ward donation learn the hills shire census results school students Channel Seven Australian Population baby boom mccrinlde Willowdale investment public speaking monarchy cash moderators guide Hunter Valley work-life DIY unemployment millenials EFF gender not for profit research politics video 2016 New Zeland housing market Northern Beaches offenders participants baby names australia report generational trends salary church NBRS Architecture demographic ABS TED talk cost do people still change their surname after marriage? who is generation z logan mortgage conference World Water Day Sydney population geomapping REIV Conference area forecast qualitative research keynote speaker Crime Rates Sydney Hills Business Chamber trends of 2016 happy holidays cloudy days prince george