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.

Merry Christmas from the McCrindle team

Monday, December 21, 2015

All of us here at McCrindle wish you a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic holiday break.  As social researchers we know that you'll be enjoying time with family and friends, and wishing health, happiness and peace to those around you. We hope you enjoy unwrapping the technology gifts as well as clothes and accessories you are likely to receive. Enjoy writing your Christmas cards, which would stand over 57km tall in a pile, and wrapping your presents – which would stretch 7,970km long (as a nation)!

We hope you enjoy the infographic we have put together, and that amidst the busyness of the season you have time to connect with family and friends, reflect on the Christmas story and enjoy the many things that make this country great.

Have a Merry Christmas, a fantastic 2016 and we hope you don't receive too many re-gifted presents!

- The McCrindle Team

Aussie Sentiment to the Christmas Season

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

In the lead up to Christmas, we surveyed 1,012 Australians to discover their sentiment and spending intentions for this Christmas season.

This year, Aussies plan on saving money, staying at home with family and friends and are hoping for technological gifts under the tree.

28% Aussies will do at least half their Christmas shopping online

While online shopping has become an increasing trend, with more than a quarter (28%) of Aussies planning on to complete at least half of their Christmas shopping online, there is still a desire among Australians to complete their Christmas shopping in actual stores, with 39% not doing any shopping online and 34% buying most of their gifts from actual stores.

Comparatively, while the majority of Australians will do their Christmas shopping in-store, the number of Australians who will buy most or all of their Christmas shopping online this year (12%) has increased by 2% since 2013 (10%).

Family and friends are our favourite part of Christmas

The number one thing Australians look forward to about the 2015 Christmas season is spending time with family and friends, indicated by 7 in 10 (69%). Over 2 in 5 (44%) Australians also say that shopping, gift-giving and the Boxing Day sales is what they look forward to most about the season.

Aussies plan on staying at home this holiday season

More than half (54%) of Australians will not be holidaying during this Christmas season. Of those that will be, almost a quarter (23%) will be holidaying within their home state, while 16% will be travelling interstate and 6% overseas.

Technology and clothing high on the wish list, but for many it’s not about the gift

16% of Australians who know what they want for Christmas are most hoping for a technological present of some kind, making it the most hoped for gift of 2015.

The second most hoped for category is clothing/shoes/accessories (14%) followed by experiences (12%) and then food or beverages (11%).

Of the Australians who selected ‘other’ (29%), the majority of them (which comprised 24% of total responders, or almost 1 in 4 Australians) indicated that they did not want any particular present. Of those who indicated that they did not want a particular material gift, but expressed a desire for something, 51% stated it was time with family, 31% were hoping for health / happiness, and 18% peace.

1 in 5 Aussies plan to spend more this Christmas than last year

While Australian’s are more likely to save this Christmas season, Australian’s have a higher likelihood to spend more this Christmas compared to the previous three years, with almost 1 in 5 (18%) planning on spending more this season compared to last year.

Australians who plan on spending less this Christmas season intend to do so by reducing the amount of money spent on gifts. Another method is to buy Christmas supplies in advance when they are on sale, while some Australians will not celebrate Christmas at all to converse their cash.

The top 7 most featured answers included:

  1. Spending less money on presents for family and friends
  2. Buy Christmas supplies when on sale
  3. Making hand-made presents for friends and family
  4. Simply not celebrating Christmas
  5. Cooking less or buying less food for celebrations
  6. Getting organized and buying presents early before the Christmas season
  7. Buying presents only for children.

Download the Australian Christmas Attitudes 2015 report. Click here to download the full report.

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


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