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Australian census finds unchurched population, minority religions growing

Catholic World News - June 22, 2012

Catholics remain the largest single religious group in Australia, a new census shows. But the number of Australians with no religious affiliation now easily outstrips the number of Anglicans.

The Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim minorities are growing, while the Christian majority is shrinking, the census found.

The statistics show 5.4 million Catholics in Australia, accounting for 25.3% of the population—down 3% from the last census in 2006. The Anglican population dropped 1.6% over the same period, and now stands at 3.7 million. And the overall Christian population is 13.2 million, of 61% of the nation’s people: down 3%.

Bolstered by immigration from Asian countries, Australia’s Buddhists now account for 2.5% of the population (up from 2.2%); Muslims are 2.2% (1.7%), and Hindus are 1.3% (0.7%).

The number of Australians who said they have “no religion” grew to 4.8 million.

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