26th June, 2012
More than a quarter of Australians said they were affiliated with the Catholic Church in the 2011 Australian Census while a growing percentage of people declared they had 'no religion'.
Census data released last week 25.3 per cent of people - which equates to 5.4 million people - declared they were Catholics on the Census form, down slightly percentage-wise on the 25.8 per cent recorded in the 2006 census.
The second largest grouping in the religious affiliation section of the Census was people who declared they had 'no religion' with the percentage of people indicating this rising sharply from 18.7 per cent in 2006 to 22.3 per cent in 2011.
While Catholics were the largest grouping in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, the 'no religion' grouping was the largest in Western Australia, South Australia,Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
The third largest group was Anglican (17.1 per cent) followed by the Uniting Church (five per cent), Presbyterian and Reformed (2.8 per cent), Eastern Orthodox (2.6 per cent), Buddhism (2.5 per cent) and Islam (2.2 per cent).
Among other Christian groupings, those who declared Christian with no denominational affiliation made up 2.2 per cent, Baptists 1.6 per cent, Lutherans 1.2 per cent, Pentecostals 1.1 per cent, and Seventh Day Adventists and Salvation Army 0.3 per cent.
Hinduism - which accounts for 1.3 per cent of the population - was the fastest growing religion rising 86 per cent from 148,125 people in 2006 to 275,535 in 2011.
- DAVID ADAMS