The number of Australians moving away from religion is rising fast, with new statistics revealing that the proportion of Australians identifying as having ‘no religion’ has risen from merely 0.7 percent in 1961 to almost 40 percent 2021.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics’s census from five years earlier showed that the proportion of irreligious was at 30.1 percent and 22.3 percent ten years earlier.
“The religion question holds a special place in the Census—it is one of the few topics that has been in every one of Australia’s 18 Censuses and is the only question that is voluntary,” Australian Statistician David Gruen AO said in a release.
Christianity is still the most popular religion, despite falling over the years from 61.1 percent in 2011 to fewer than half of Australians for the first time at 44 percent. When the first census was conducted in 1911, 96 percent of Australians identified as Christian.
These results reflect the changing religious makeup of Australia, Roy Morgan Industry Communications Director Norman Morris said.
“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,” he said.
If the current downward trend continues, the number of irreligious people will exceed the number of Christians by 2026, according to professor and head of law at the Sheridan Institute of Higher Education Augusto Zimmermann.
Effect of Non-Believers
He said that this explains the submissive attitude of Australians during the pandemic.
“Arguably, the decline of Christianity resulted in the establishment of a secular state that involves a more faithful acceptance of government as an all-powerful protector of the community,” Zimmermann said.
“As such, all explanations given by government chief medical officers, whose advice politicians then impose on a submissive population with a great level of zealotry, are entirely accepted with no further questioning.”
Other religions have grown, such as Hinduism, which grew by 55.3 percent, or 2.7 percent of the population. Islam grew to 3.2 percent of the Australian population.