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.

Aussies come clean on national littering habits

Thursday, August 27, 2015

McCrindle Research is delighted to highlight some of the key findings from our recent Litter in Australia Report commissioned by Keep Australia Beautiful.

This week is Keep Australia Beautiful Week so there is no better time to highlight the attitudes Australians have towards litter.

It’s official – almost everyone hates litter (99% state that it bothers them) however more than 1 in 4 (29%) confess to littering!

The main excuses offered are that there were no bins/overflowing bins, the litter was biodegradable, or that it was very small.

More than 8 in 10 Australians (83%) state that litter is a problem in their own community yet less than 1 in 10 Australians (7%) participated in an organised clean up event in the last year. And while almost 62% of Australians have witnessed someone litter in the last year, we are less likely to point it out.

KAB Chief Executive Officer Peter McLean has launched Keep Australia Beautiful Week with the theme, It’s Everyone’s Backyard, designed to prompt Australians to match their words with actions.

For more information on KAB Week visit -

The Winter Blues [in the media]

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A recent McCrindle Research study shows that more than a third of all Australians suffer from the Winter Blues. Social analyst Mark McCrindle features on the Daily Edition to show how the chilly weather really affects us and how we can beat the blues.

Aussie's in Winter are:

  • 55% more likely to oversleep
  • 47% tendency to overeat
  • 42% reduced social life
  • 26% increased pessimism

How to beat the Winter blues:

  • Keep social
  • Stay healthy
  • Plan things to look forward to

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


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