Research Launch Event at NSW Parliament House

Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Eliane Miles at the launch with (L to R) Bishop Peter Ingham, Education Minister Rob Stokes, The Hon Paul Green, Shadow Minister Jihad Dib and Murray Norman.

The NSW Government recently released the independent review of Special Religious Education (SRE). In response, McCrindle was commissioned to review the findings and summarise the key data into this SRE in Schools visual summary.

As part of this process, Research Director Eliane Miles was delighted to speak last Tuesday night at NSW Parliament House to launch these findings. The other speakers who addressed the attendees, who included representatives from most of the major providers of SRE across all faiths, were the Education Minister Rob Stokes, Shadow Minister Jihad Dib, and host of the event, The Hon Paul Green MLC.

Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles
Education Minister Rob Stokes
The Hon. Paul Green MP

The Review highlighted how SRE contributes to students’ understanding of their cultural heritage and is an avenue for their spiritual care. Further, it noted that the work of SRE teachers builds tolerance in schools, promotes multiculturalism, contributes to a well-rounded education, and connects schools with their local community.

In addressing the gathering, Mr Stokes, said, “It is wonderful that we have in our schools an understanding that humans are made up of three parts, mind, body and spirit, and we need to provide sustenance to each part of what makes us fully human. SRE has a very important role to fulfil in our schools.”

Mr Dib expressed strong bipartisan support for the value of SRE. Mr Dib said, “[The review] was not at any point in time thinking how to do away with it, but rather, how we actually improve it.” In thanking SRE teachers and providers, Mr Dib went on to articulate the importance of ensuring, “Every single student should have an opportunity – for at least one hour in a week – to reflect about the person that they are and the way that they can actually better themselves.”

Most striking amongst the research presented by Eliane Miles was the levels of satisfaction regarding SRE from schools and parents. The research showed that of the 780,600 students that attend the 2,152 government schools in NSW (with SRE taught in 87% of these schools), 84% of parents are satisfied or mostly satisfied with their student’s learning experiences in SRE and 96% of principals agree or mostly agree that their school has a good working relationship with SRE providers.

Faith and Belief in Australia

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Faith and Belief in Australia Report is being launched today. A survey of 1,024 Australians shows that religion in Australia is not dead. 

Two in three identify with a religion or spirituality
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. The number of Australians who do not identify with a religion or spiritual belief, however, is on the rise with almost one in three (32%) not identifying with a religion. This study replicated the ABS Census question, but added in an option for ‘spiritual but not religious’. This had a response rate of 14% among Australians nationally, and the Christianity grouping was 45% (down from 61% in the 2011 Census).

More than half of Australians (52%) are open to changing their religious views given the right circumstances and evidence. Younger Australians are more open to changing their current religious views than older generations.

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. On the inverse, the top repellent to Australians investigating is public figures or celebrities who are examples of that faith. This is followed by miraculous stories of healings or supernatural occurrences.

Perceptions of Christianity 
Australians most value 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.

Research Launch
The full Faith and Belief in Australia research will be launched on Tuesday 9th May at an event in Sydney (register here) and Wednesday 10th May in Melbourne (register here). 

Download the full report here

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.

Sydney: Australia's most religious city

Thursday, October 08, 2015

There has much discussion of the decline of religion in Australia as measured by the last two Census’ (2006 and 2011) with the total stating “no religion” increasing from 18.7 to 22.3 over this five year period. Additionally the decline in the total identifying with a Christian denomination decreased from 64% to 61%.

However nationally the percentage identifying as Pentecostal, Salvation Army, Seventh-Day Adventist, and “other protestant” saw no decline and those in the Christian (not further defined) category saw an increase. Sydney is Australia’s most religious capital city with the lowest proportion of residents stating “no religion” (17.6%), while Hobart (29.4%) and Canberra (28.9%) have the highest proportion of populations not identifying with any religion.

The two dominant Christian identities nationally are Catholic (25.3%) and Anglican (17.1%). However Hobart is the one capital where Anglican (26.2%) outranks Catholic (20.3%) while Melbourne has the biggest differential between the two with Catholic (27.2%) more than twice the adherents as Anglican (10.8%). However it is Sydney that is the most Catholic of the capitals with 28.3%, and well ahead of Anglican at 16.1%. The areas of Sydney that have the highest identification with Christianity are in the South West with Menai, Mulgoa, Narellan, Warragamba and Horsley Park all areas rating above 80% Christianity. Sydney is also the only capital where a religion other than Christianity ranks in the top 3 (Islam, at 4.7%) with Auburn (42%) and Lakemba (49%) having the highest proportion of residents identifying with Islam.

Australia’s largest city, Sydney, is a religiously diverse one, and there is a strong link between location and religion as seen by these maps:

  • Catholic
  • Anglican
  • Judaism
  • Islam

For an in-depth visual look of Sydney by religious identification simply click on the interactive map above, and select the religions you would like to analyse by selecting the Visible layers box and options. You can also zoom in to look at specific areas of Sydney, or hover over a suburb to read the data.

About McCrindle Research Services

Utilising the right tools and methods and analysing the data is just half of the research process. Because the goal is implementation, the findings need the skills of visualisation and communication. As researchers we understand the methods, but we’re also designers and communicators so we know how to present the findings in ways that will best engage.

Geomapping is a new tool we have and we will be releasing more information and blog pieces on this exciting new output.

Let us know via social media if you have any topics you would like to be geomapped!

Connect with us on:

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


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