Australian Census figures on Religion Released

The figures have been released from the Australian Census 2006 regarding religion (full details here). We will have to wait for the National Church Life Survey results to get the nitty gritty details, but here are the facts:

Buddhism……………………..418,756 (2.11%)
Christianity: ……………..12,685,836 (63.89%)

Anglican …………………..3,718,252 (18.73%)
Assyrian Apostolic………………8,189 (0.04%)
Baptist ……………………..316,738 (1.60%)
Brethren ……………………..24,232 (0.12%)
Catholic …………………..5,126,880 (25.82%)
Churches of Christ …………….54,822 (0.28%)
Eastern Orthodox………………544,160 (2.74%)
Jehovah’s Witnesses…………….80,919 (0.41%)
Latter Day Saints ……………..53,199 (0.27%)
Lutheran …………………….251,107 (1.26%)
Oriental Orthodox………………32,711 (0.16%)
Other Protestant ………………56,106 (0.28%)
Pentecostal ………………….219,689 (1.11%)
Presbyterian & Reformed………..596,671 (3.01%)
Salvation Army ………………..64,200 (0.32%)
Seventh-day Adventist ………….55,251 (0.28%)
Uniting Church ……………..1,135,427 (5.72%)
Christian nfd…………………313,190 (1.58%)
Other Christian ……………….34,093 (0.17%)
Hinduism ……………………..148,119 (0.75%)
Islam ……………………….340,392 (1.71%)
Judaism ………………………88,831 (0.45%)
Aboriginal Religions ……………5,377 (0.03%)
Other Religious Groups ………..103,645 (0.52%)
No religion…………………3,706,555 (18.67%)
Other religious affiliation…….133,820 (0.67%)
Not stated …………………2,223,957 (11.20%)

Total …………………….19,855,288(100.00%)

The really interesting thing is to look at the increases or decreases in respect to the increase or decrease of population. Here are those categoriest that have grown faster than the population growth (figures given here are the category growth since 2001 percentage minus the population growth since 2001 percentage, which is 5.79%):

Hinduism…………………..49.35%
No Religion………………..21.76%
Brethren…………………..19.42%
Christian (no further detail)..17.86%
Other Religious Groups………16.71%
Religious affiliation not stated..15.37%
Islam……………………..15.10%
Buddhism…………………..11.24%
Assyrian Apostolic…………. 9.40%
Pentecostal…………………7.10%
Oriental Orthodox……………6.18%
Other Protestant……………0.96%
Latter Day Saints…………..0.79%

All that points to really interesting times ahead for the Australian religious scene.

Catholics only had a 2.50% rise–which is 3.29% less than the population. So effectively we went backwards. It might be tempting to say “Not as backwards as some”, but we should note that in the 2001 Census we had a 4.22% rise (still 1.50% less than the population rise), so we are going backwards even against our previous levels of growth.

The bottom line: We haven’t hit the bottom of the J-curve yet.
The bottom question: Is there going to BE a J-curve?

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