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.

Mark McCrindle and The Changing Face of Sydney

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Sydney, the place many of us call home, is Australia’s economic powerhouse. We are adding almost 90,000 people to our city every single year, and the 5 fastest growing areas in New South Wales are all located in Sydney. Back 50 years ago Sydney had just hit 2 million people, we are going to finish next year at 5 million people.

Sydney is a fascinating and complex landscape where old ways and old attitudes are disappearing. We used to have a cringe factor of, “this part of the city is better than that part of the city” and people would perhaps be embarrassed if they weren’t closer to where the action was. That’s all changed. People in Greater Western Sydney embrace that as their moniker, proud of being a Westie.

And when it comes to work the CBD is no longer the cities undisputed top dog. Sydney is undergoing an opportunity revolution, with entrepreneurial hotspots sprouting up just about everywhere. You’ve got the media and communications hubs around Surry Hills and Ultimo, and high-tech emerging in areas of Parramatta and even in Penrith. It’s not all just happening in the CBD alone.

NSW also has the highest migration of any Australian state, and Sydney – a global city, receives most of this growth. In this city of diversity, the city’s newest citizens form new tribes in its oldest suburbs.

Sydney has many faces, but what binds us, the one thing we all have in common is this often complex, always beautiful, ever-changing city.

The Changing Face of Sydney; Urban Sprawl Goes Vertical

The Changing Face of Sydney; A closer look at Parramatta

The Changing Face of Sydney; Is the Sutherland Shire the new boom town?

The Changing Face of Sydney; The Changing Face of Liverpool

The Changing Face of Sydney; The big Development Flying Under the Rader

Q AND A WITH MARK MCCRINDLE


Q: Just wondering how many have first language of English?

A: Sydney is one of the most culturally diverse places in Australia. Almost two in three households have at least one parent born overseas, and China may soon overtake England as the country Sydneysiders born overseas were most likely born in.


Q: My children – aged 11 and eight – and I just watched the Changing Face of Sydney. They would like to know how our suburb, Loftus, has changed over the years. Or anything exciting you can tell them about our great suburb.

A: Well it is a fascinating suburb – home to far more families with kids than the state and national average. Averaging two children per household (well above the average) and with more stay-at-home parents than average. Earning more, volunteering more, and with a higher proportion of children than most Sydney suburbs – sounds like a nice, family-friendly place to live.


Q: What does the future of Blacktown look like as a part of the changing face of the western suburbs?

A: Blacktown has consistently been the fastest growing areas in the whole of NSW over the last decade. The Blacktown City area is home to more than 300,000 people, which means it is home to more people than the whole of the Northern Territory!


Q: We have just moved to Mosman from Adelaide, what can you tell me about Mosman, its demographic and its history?

A: Mosman is home to far more females than males - average age is 40, well above Sydney’s 36 and the residents’ earn more and work longer than the NSW average. Three in five of those in the labour force in Mosman work more than 40 hours per week. It is also home to twice the proportion of professionals and managers than the state average.


Q: What are your views on Sydney property growth in the short term? Is this boom likely to continue? NSW future infrastructure projects are encouraged by this strong stamp. What would be the result if the interest rates increase?

A: Yes Sydney’s property prices are no bubble. They are underpinned by more demand (population growth) than supply (new home builds). Not only is Sydney growing around 85,000 people per year, but households are getting smaller so the housing demand is even outstripping population growth. However, Sydney prices will no doubt plateau at some point, as they have before.


Q: Which suburbs have big potential for growth? Where will be more infrastructure developments?

A: Greater Western Sydney is where the population growth is and where there will be a lot of new infrastructure over the decades ahead. Plus prices are beginning from a lower base than the east. And keep in mind that by 2032 Western Sydney will be larger than the rest of Sydney (2.9m compared to 2.7m).


Q: My partner and I are planning to buy a house. What is the quietest place in Sydney?

A: The quiet suburbs on the urban fringes – Shanes Park, Cranebrook, Marsden Park, Badgery’s Creek – are acreage at the moment but will be development central in a few years. So the quiet may just be temporary.


Q: Where is the best place to invest, which suburb?

A: Really depends on budget and also having a long-term view. Suburbs change: Redfern, Balmain, Newtown, Campberdown were once not considered desirable suburbs and are now very expensive. So it is good to look at population growth trends and emerging infrastructure. A suburb not “hot” at the moment if it is in Sydney will be a winner long term.


Q: What are the reasons for different ethnicities to settle in the respective suburbs? (Chinese in Hurstville and Chatswood, British in Manly, etc.)

A: Often it is where they have connection/family and so various suburbs end up with strong ethnicities. For example, traditionally Greeks settled in Kogarah, many from Vietnam called Cabramatta home and more recently a strong connection of those from India to Harris Park.


Q: What proportion of the Hills district is evangelical and also now the Shire?

A: The ABS census data shows religion by denomination and it shows that for example the Hills have less than 19 per cent while the Shire has more than 25 per cent Anglicans.

The changing face of Sydney

Monday, July 06, 2015

“Sydney is a very diverse place, but I think in that diversity, in that difference is a great sense of strength, we all come together as Aussies and as Sydney-siders and I think that’s why so many people, almost 5 million of us, call this city home.” – Mark McCrindle

“The changing face of Sydney has been phenomenal”

Sydney, the place many of us call home, is Australia’s economic powerhouse.

We are adding almost 90,000 people to our city every single year, and the 5 fastest growing areas in New South Wales are all located in Sydney.

Back 50 years ago Sydney had just hit 2 million people, we are going to finish next year at 5 million people.

“Old ways and old attitudes are disappearing”

Sydney is a fascinating and complex landscape where old ways and old attitudes are disappearing.

We used to have a cringe factor of, “this part of the city is better than that part of the city” and people would perhaps be embarrassed if they weren’t closer to where the action was. That’s all changed. People in Greater Western Sydney embrace that as their moniker, proud of being a Westie.

“Sydney; a mini United Nations”

NSW has the highest migration of any Australian state, and Sydney – a global city, receives most of this growth. In this city of diversity, the city’s newest citizens form new tribes in its oldest suburbs.

  • South Africans have embraced Dover Heights,
  • The Chinese – Chatswood and Hurstville,
  • It’s little Lebanon in Mount Lewis,
  • Little England in Manly,
  • A lot of Vietnam in Cabramatta,
  • And the Maltese have made Arndell Park their own.

Now the number one surname in the Parramatta white pages is Patel.

“Sydney is undergoing an opportunity revolution”

And when it comes to work the CBD is no longer the cities undisputed top dog. Sydney is undergoing an opportunity revolution, with entrepreneurial hotspots sprouting up just about everywhere.

You’ve got the media and communications hubs around Surry Hills and Ultimo, and high-tech emerging in areas of Parramatta and even in Penrith. It’s not all just happening in the CBD alone.

The Changing Face of Sydney

Sydney has many faces, but what binds us, the one thing we all have in common is this often complex, always beautiful, ever-changing city.

WATCH THE CHANGING FACE OF SYDNEY SEGMENT BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK OR THE IMAGE BELOW


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

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

Archive