The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released information about religious affiliation as revealed through the last Census. The information is based on the count of persons (place of usual residence) and shows the numbers of people observing main religions (e.g. Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism), other religions or none. The information is based on a specific question on the Census form that asks about the religion of respondents.
Quality and Applicability
Place of usual residence counts are used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in all its standard data sets e.g. Basic Community Profile, Expanded Community Profile, Indigenous Profile and QuickStats.
Information about religious affiliation can indicate the cultural diversity of a given area. Whilst religious affiliation is important information, it is best used in conjunction with other cultural diversity indicators such as countries of birth, emerging communities, and languages other than English and proficiency in spoken English.
Information about religious affiliation is available for local government areas, statistical local areas, suburbs, and collector districts – by sex.
Collector districts are the smallest spatial units under the Australian Standard Geographical Classification system used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Collector districts enable the collection and dissemination of Census data. Statistical local areas fit into the boundaries of incorporated bodies of local government (i.e. local government areas) when aggregated.
Information about religious affiliation refers to 8 August 2006, the most recent Census.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics progressively released all standard data sets based on the 2006 Census during 2007.
Information about religious affiliation is contained in the Basic Community Profile Cat. No. 2001.0 2006 Table B13. Select the 'Community Profiles' function to search for an area by name then open its Basic Community Profile.
Cost and Format
Australian Bureau of Statistics data sets are downloadable free of charge in excel spreadsheet format.
Additional Data Source(s)
Information about religious affiliation is available through profile.id, an online product designed to support local government planning and accessible through council websites. Go to your council website, search for community profiles, and click on 'Who Are We/What Are Our Religions' to generate reports based on the last Census. Reports are available for local government areas and smaller areas (e.g. suburbs). More on profile.id.