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

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

Archive