Religion, Churchgoing and Easter

Friday, April 14, 2017

Each year Easter provides an opportunity for Australians to not just consume copious amounts of chocolate but also to reflect on the Christian meaning of this national holiday.

The rise of “No religion”

A decade ago, Australians selecting “No religion” in the Census ranked third, at 18.7%, after Catholic (25.8%) and Anglican (18.7%). By 2011, No religion rose by 4.5% points to 22.3%, overtaking Anglican (which had fallen slightly to 17.1%), though still ranked second after Catholic (down to 25.3%).

If this trend has continued, the Census 2016 results (to be released on 27 June) will be the first in Australia’s history to record No religion larger than any other religious grouping.

In the 2011 Census, only three of Australia’s eight states and territories had Catholic as the most dominant religion (NSW, Victoria and Queensland) while for the rest of the country, No religion was the most dominant. Based on the trends over the last decade, it is likely that in the 2016 results NSW will remain the only state or territory where No religion is not the most common worldview.

Christian religion, total: 61%

When all of the Christian denominations are combined, the 2011 Census results record this at 61%, down from 64% in 2006.

Christian, not just spiritual, total: 44%

In our Faith and Belief in Australia study, which will be launched in May, the results show that when Australians are given the option of selecting “spiritual but not any main religion” (an option not available in the Census) the total Christianity numbers drop to 44%.

I consider myself a Christian, total: 38%

When the religious identity question is personalised to the statement “I consider myself a Christian”, 38% of Australians agree.

Regular churchgoer, total: 14.5%

Of Australians who identify their religion as Christianity, 22% attend church weekly, with an additional 11% attending fortnightly or monthly. Regular church attendees, defined as those who attend church at least once per month, comprise in total 14.5% of the adult population.

How many Australians will attend church this Easter?

It is reasonable to predict that most of the quarterly and annual churchgoers will attend church at some point over Easter, along with the regular churchgoers. In total, this is 50% of Australians identifying with the Christian religion- or 22% of all adults. Therefore, Easter church services nationally will see around 3.9 million adults in attendance.

Faith, belief and churchgoing in Australia

Thursday, March 24, 2016

While it is a stretch to describe diverse, 21st Century Australia as a Christian country, the national data on religious identity from the 2011 Census shows the majority of Australians (61.1%) identify their religion as Christianity, a slight decline from 63.9% in the 2006 Census. More than a quarter of the population (25.3%) identify as Catholic, with the second most common Christian affiliation being Anglican (17.1%) and third is the Uniting Church (5%).

The most common non-Christian religions were Buddhism (2.5%), Islam (2.2%) and Hinduism (1.3%). Not only is the total proportion of Australians identifying with a Christian denomination 24 times larger than the second most common religion (Buddhism), but Christianity is 8 times larger than all non-Christian religions combined (7.2%).

The rise in no religion

The fastest growing religion as identified over the two last census’ has been Hinduism, which increased from 0.7% to 1.3%, an increase of 127,410 adherents. However, the biggest growth in total numbers has been the rise in no religion from 18.7% in 2006 to 22.3% in 2011, which represents an increase in more than 1 million people over this time from 3.7 million to 4.8 million. Such has been the rise in Australians selecting no religion, it is now the most common “belief” category in 5 of Australia’s 8 states and territories (Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory). Yet in both Victoria and Queensland, Catholic (26.7% and 23.8% respectively) comes ahead of no religion (24.0% and 22.1%) while in NSW- Australia’s most religious state, both Catholic (27.5%) and Anglican (19.9%) are ahead of no religion (17.9%).

Not only is NSW the most religious state but Sydney is Australia’s most religious capital city, with those selecting no religion (17.6%) significantly lower than is found in Brisbane (22.8%), the city of churches – Adelaide (28.1%), Canberra (28.9%) and Hobart, Australia’s least religious capital, (29.4%).

Majority believe in God

Not only does most of Australia identify with Christianity, but more than half (55%) of the population believes in God, as defined as the Creator of the universe, the Supreme Being.

However, there are signs of fading belief in God with the majority of the oldest generation aged over 70 believing in God (61%) along with the majority of the fifty and sixty-something Baby Boomers (53%) compared to a slight minority of late thirties and forty-something Gen Xers (46%) and Generation Y (41%) but less than 1 in 3 Gen Z’s (31%) who are today’s teenagers and early twenties.

The most common category for Australians’ belief in God is that they are believers, who believe now and always have (47%) and second are non-believers who don’t believe in God and never have (26%). Although, changers, who used to believe and now don’t (18%) are twice as common as converters, who believe in God now but didn’t used to (8%).

1 in 6 Australians are church-goers

Regular church attendance has also been declining over the past few generations and has more than halved in around 4 decades from 1 in 3 Australians (36% in 1972) to 1 in 6 currently (15%, National Church Life Survey 2011). While in decline, the total numbers of church goers nationally total around 3.6 million Australians, which makes church much more attended than the other Australian religion - professional sport. In fact, when thinking about this Easter weekend, 13% of Australians say they will definitely go to church with an additional 10% stating that they probably will- and if they all do, that’s more than 4 million adults, plus many kids in tow.

Attitudes towards God and Church this Easter

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Each year Easter provides an opportunity for Australians to not just consume copious amounts of chocolate but also to reflect on the Christian meaning of this national holiday.

In the lead up to Easter we surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,015 Australians to gage their attitudes and sentiments surrounding their belief in God and intentions to attend church this Easter.

Over half Australians believe God exists

Just over half (52%) of Australian’s believe that God exists as the creator of the universe and Supreme Being. These findings have yielded similar results to the same question asked to the Australian public 6 years ago (from the 2009 Survey of Australian Attitudes conducted by the Australian National University) in which 54% identified they have a belief in God.

Church attendance set to double at Easter

Whilst 15% of Australians regularly attend church (at least once a month, according to NCLS data), this is anticipated to double at Easter with around 1 in 3 Australians (30%) indicating they will attend church at Easter this year.

National Church Life Survey 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.

Christianity 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%).


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Mark McCrindle - Social Researcher

E: ashley@mccrindle.com.au

P: 02 8824 3422

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


Tags

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

Archive