Religion in Australia is not dead

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Download the full Faith and Belief infographic here.

The latest Census results reveal a picture of a changing Australia. Those identifying with ‘no religion’ rose from 21.8% in 2011, to 29.6% in 2016. But is there more to the religion in Australia story? Our Faith and Belief research indicates that there is.

Churchgoing this Easter

More than half (52%) of the Australian population identify with a denomination of Christianity. Our Faith and Belief research showed that 15% of Australians who identify with Christianity attend church at least once a month. We can therefore conclude that 3.5 million Australians will be attending church this Easter.

Top suburbs by religion in Greater Sydney

Analysis of the latest ABS Census data for Greater Sydney shows the top suburbs by religious affiliation.

The ‘spiritual, but not religious’

Our Faith and Belief research study replicated the ABS Census question, but added in an option for ‘spiritual but not religious’, which had a response rate of 14% among Australians nationally.

Religion in Australia is not dead

More than two in three Australians (68%) follow a religion or have spiritual beliefs. Of those that do, almost half (47%) remain committed to the religion of their upbringing

Religion and spirituality a popular topic of conversation

When gathering with friends, more than half of Australians (55%) often or occasionally talk about religion or spirituality. Generation Z (65%) are the most comfortable talking the topic, while the Baby Boomers are the least with 51% never talking about it with their friends.

A genuine faith the greatest attraction to a religion or spirituality

Observing people with genuine faith is the greatest attraction to investigating spirituality. Second is experiencing personal trauma or a significant life change, and third is stories or testimonies from people who have changed due to their faith.

Perceptions of Christianity and the Church

Australians most value the Church and Christian organisations for their work with those in need, specifically looking after people who are homeless, offering financial assistance/food relief programs and providing disaster relief (74%, 72% and 69% respectively). 8% of Australian adults (1.5 million) do not know any Christians, while for Generation Y this is almost one in ten. One in 29 Australians have never heard of Jesus.


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