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

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

Archive