In July 2019, ABC surveyed more than 54,000 people about their attitudes, behaviours and experiences. This is a summary of their opinions on religion.
- People should keep their religious beliefs to themselves:
- Agree: 60%
- Disagree: 24%
- Neutral: 16%
- Australia would be better off if people were more religious:
- Disagree: 66%
- Neutral/Don’t know: 19%
- Agree: 15%
On 27 June 2017, the results of the latest census were released, revealing that those who ticked ‘No Religion’ now numbered 30.1% of all Australians, with some states seeing a larger percentage, jumping to as high as 37.8% in Tasmania. This marks a big increase, outnumbering for the first time those who identify as Catholic, an affiliation that dropped to 22.6%.
The rise in the number of people identifying as not religious in the census and the corresponding decline in religious affiliation is a trend that is growing domestically and around the world in countries like New Zealand, the UK and Canada. The result raises questions about the persistence of religious privilege in Australia, and the RSA continues to campaign for a more secular country that is fair to all.
In the media
The Rationalist Society of Australia used the release of the 2016 census results to draw attention to continuing religious privilege in Australia. We gained significant media coverage regarding the results, including opinion pieces in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Huffington Post, and The Courier Mail, as well as ABC Radio interviews across Australia. We also saw an amazing online response to our video “Go for secular? It’s a no brainer.” (2017).