News – 19 July 2015
Christians in Australia approach minority status
Christians in Australia approach minority status as religious affiliation declines sharply since 2011. If the current downward trend continues, Christians will soon be in the minority in Australia, research from Roy Morgan shows (Finding No. 5541, 16 April 2014, quoted as follows).
In late 2011, Christians outnumbered the non-religious by over two to one: 60.9% of Australians [aged] 14+ (11.4 million) said they belonged to a Christian denomination compared with 29.2% (5.5 million) who said they had no religious affiliation – each near their respective proportional averages since 2009.
But in the latest quarter October to December 2013, 52.6% of Australians (10.2 million) are Christian, while 37.6% (7.3 million) have no religion – halving the gap to 15% points. … Another 8.3% of Australians (1.6 million) currently identify with a non-Christian religion, only slightly above the long-term average of 7.6% since 2009. A small percentage of Australians (<2% each quarter) opt not to reveal any religious affiliation.
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director – Roy Morgan Research, says:
These results are not necessarily about belief, per se, but rather our changing attitudes to religious affiliation. The decline in the proportion of Australians who say they are Christian – whether Catholic, Anglican or another denomination – coupled with a similarly sized increase in the number who tell us they have no religion, could reflect a growing level of genuine atheism or agnosticism, or instead simply a shift away from identifying with organised Christianity, despite ongoing theistic faith. Likely, it is a combination of both.