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


1980 work System's Architect presentations learner change Merry Christmas McCrindle Speakers mover and shaker teleworking entrepreneurs of today winter future of education dessert mythbusters property office space christianity mining boom new office leadership workshop CBD Sydney Hills Business Chamber Cobbitty-Leppington cultural diversity not for profit research Christmas day personalities facts the average aussie rent social enquiry Macquarie University award winner housing trends tableau stay home unemployment conference sydneysider going out wedding ACF 2016 VET sector equip mccrindle tea group hobart social impact Christchurch public speaker commute experience PSI Australian Home Vocational education property price children huffington post wealth inequality Generation X earn Education Future Forum in depth interviews sydney property market culture blaxland city crows nest organisational culture friendship mythbusting NEETs Australian Census conferences monarchy the hills Jura Australia language Res Vis Australian demographics christmas 2017 brisbane rain networking Netflix christmas in the media google vegetarian group session financial independence trend speaker kate middleton capital city omnibus quote skills housing market etiquette teachers insights 1968 World Water Day Population Clock socialites follow deloitte communication Financial Planning Association sector australian communities forum domestic click royal family pharmacies property market Love parents infographics Gen Z Expert aged care puzzle vegemite demographic cost of living collaboration engagement office house price award financial planning faith tea Australian Population the lucky country affordable McCridle mateship Canberra research report population growth education research Hornsby Shire Council megatrends ferry ACT Report workshop TEDx food student Lower Hunter Region research 10 years Maxim Accounting cash McCrindle Keynote Speakers earning transport child care professional politics investment growth of sydney future-proof SRE presentation wolloomooloo population speakers pack ACF2017 church energy Caregiver resource leader apartments high density living home owner states TAS optus non profit logan jobs of the future Bathburst baby name trends forecast alpha impact program nfp employmee economic research pack the great screenage global generations brand TDE forecasting dream names SMSF lifestyle environmental scanning optus my business awards social commentator Northern Beaches innovative sydney speaker baby snapshot cars consumer ethnography census 2016 community engagement demographer brand experience wellbeing daily commute FOMO Business analysis contiki New South Wales qualitative research ageing population research visualisation rise of local investor healthy future data analyst Australian community trends tattoos menai trades marketing eliane eliane miles volunteers Sydney thought leadership Kirsten Brewer holiday Lower Hunter optimistic volunteering keynote HSC seasons salary SMART leadership social researchers Australian Communities Trends market research tuesday australia living Aussies Financial Planning Week gig emerging generations hello fresh employers Gen X households rich shopping media activity growing population NBRS volunteering data poker master hopes recap social commentary sentiments focus group goal chairty shbc Mark McCrindle in the media global retail population map work mates What is food insecurity? faux-cilise Christmas day weather home urban taskforce Sydney Lifestyle Study Black Friday Sales Christmas season thrive Australia Day 2017 DESTEL Do It Yourself medicine mccrindle jobs rising house prices christian relevant train casual narcissism future proof baby boom video NT staff business index Australian communities interactive Northern Beaches Christian School visual investing tips generation Z twentyseventeen volunteer finance REIV National Conference life social researcher Christmas in Australia sydney market commuting social media research data public transport brands communications socialising annual income winter blues JOMO fresh selfie Channel 7 VET online shopping future proofing litter Financial Planning Association of Australia hunger meals career young people demographic trends younger generations dreams ipswich wealth and income distribution ABS population milestone cultural diveristy Australian schools breakfast Hunter Valley researcher Queensland: QLD Australia Day norwest Jura Coffee buildings sydney metro university degree car middle class learn technology Sydney population divorce darwin entrepreneur average aussie school low density sun faux-cilising public holiday university small business owning a home learning Australian Families analysis average Australian Wagga Wagga holidays 24,000,000 gen alpha food insecurity not-for-profit educhat 2015 crime village grandparents social life friends local mentor digital economy New Zeland moreton bay 40 million teach 2013 summer media Crime Rates Australia street Andrew Duffin proactive results 2016 census participants micro housing responsive women Black Friday in Australia communicate Scouts bus Deaths Australian Dream DIY publication business father's day ultimo census futurist digital infographic wall capital cities local communities Sydney keynote speaker demography men celebration future of shopping news australians staying home more shopping centre keynote speaker waverton GPO tertiary education social research Black Friday school students online speajer list trends of 2017 balance media release government Geoff Brailey state high density apartments royal professional presenters outsourcing report housing affordability repayments world youth day trends income gold coast Mount Annan-Currant Hill workplace cancelling event New Zealand innovation easy rider TEDx Speaker greatness EFF social lives bondi neutral bay high density employmer marriages parenting social shifts property development sunny days Adelaide debt learning styles poor Real Estate Institute of Victoria ACF17 woolworths clothing donate Willowdale society baby names australia report religion #censusfail shopper's pick mortgage insight events families marrickville cancelling plans royal influence cooking belief tv Christmas data identity weather mother's day financial future hills customer Australian Bureau of Statistics aussie culture generations organisations 23 million REIV Conference millionth professional services US communities employment Sydney’s south west global financial crisis social analysis ashley mckenzie the changing face of TED rule keeper baby names report daily telegraph growth staying in February 16 study generation alpha economy infographic Wodonga Social Trend giving public speaking social change 2016 census results Christmas research VIC census fail NFP event Western Australia anzac stats survey design entrepreneurial professional speaker educated townhouses divorce rate business performance relational prince george financial fears gig economy visualisation ACF gender builders cost travel fears Word Up graphs research services conference presentation aged care home ownership marriage Australians coffee school satisfaction slideshare local community Assistant Store Manager apartment meetings royal baby rental stress challenge careers moderators guide geomapping McCrindle Speaker data visualisation teacher millennials 2020 gen z money changing face of sydney water charity Mark McCrindle suburb paying to work mobile potts point personal growth ashley fell land of the middle class the australian dream emerging technologies office opening Performance Sentiment Index collaborative internship survey retirement Territory SA Tuesday Trends authenticity sector wide trends of 2016 young australians IT Specialists sustainable Research Executive Real Estate 1994 education future coffee lovers sydney hills mccrindle research pharmacy offenders future hornsby storytelling care support spirituality 2016 screenagers youth unemployment workplace culture "know the times" baby boomers national crime rates social issues James Ward sydneysiders Research Director research on coffee emerging trends sydneycity supply and demand case study goals suburban living commuters Christmas presents debate generation Gen Y TED talk millenials Hills Shire Council speakers Melbourne australian social research happiness travelling January 26th entertainment newspaper wealth and income census data Work place FPA long weekend product 2014 conference speaker family grave decision year 12 national wealth ACT demographics Generation Y bureau criminal youth average sydneysider Wellington screenage education sector urban living CPI Valentine’s Day WA schools demographic transformations Elderslie-Harrington park census results live the dream teaching plans baby name Duchess of Cambridge trend tuesday work-life food bank The Daily Edition professional development increasing densification schools students community event intern wage the hills shire cartodb social shifts area cica faux-ciliser manly residents hills shire mccrinlde 2017 lalor park training community Skilling sports not for profit financial Kiwi earnings The ABC of XYZ year 7 easter students environment social analyst charities housing growth culturally diverse Northern beaches Event dare to dream sector wide study global sunburnt country statistics engage renting forum new york times princess charlotte focus groups Retail ease of travel trends analyst typical australian cloudy days suburbs Queensland cancel plans weekly earnings dreaming Christmas lunch national private wealth education future report Engineering Manager spend household panel consumerism pyrmont priorities NBRS Architecture work from home real Charlotte 1975 who is generation z couple South Australia English australian real estate budget wealth distribution donation define internet Northern Territory urban Australian Trends Births education house financial dreams internships data australian communities trends report micro apartments 2012 acf15 ideas media commentary affordability showreel purpose story unaffordable society trends safe 24 million NSW house prices Tasmania generational trends choice workers urban living index google for education australian sydney event baby names know the times renter of the future Royals event overcast motivate urban development resilience Tuesday Trend house price rise baby name predictions australian community trends report ageing high school Myth wages world workforce Aussie mccrindle in the media perth toys social trends future of work post rationalism cold curiosity victoria Channel Seven wealth