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New South Wales
Religion

In 2011, the religion of the majority of people in New South Wales was Western (Roman) Catholic.

The New South Wales's religion statistics provide an indicator of cultural identity and ethnicity when observed in conjunction with other key variables. Religion data reveal the major concentrations of religions as well as revealing the proportion of people with no religious affiliation. There are a number of reasons for different religious compositions across areas including the country of birth and ethnic background of the population, the age of the population (belief in religion is generally stronger, the older the population) and changes in values and belief systems.

The New South Wales's religion statistics should be analysed in conjunction with other ethnicity statistics such as Country of Birth data and Language Spoken data to assist in identifying specific cultural and ethnic groups.

Derived from the Census question:

'What is the person's religion?'

Total NSW population

Religion - Ranked by size
New South Wales20112006Change
ReligionNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2006 to 2011
Western (Roman) Catholic1,869,49927.025.61,813,59727.726.1+55,902
Anglican1,378,37319.917.81,424,95121.819.5-46,578
Uniting Church271,0993.94.7299,3154.65.4-28,216
Islam219,3533.22.4168,7442.61.9+50,609
Presbyterian and Reformed211,9593.12.9219,1073.33.1-7,148
Buddhism201,0532.92.6168,0742.62.2+32,979
Greek Orthodox131,5871.91.8129,9632.01.9+1,624
Christian,nfd123,7771.82.186,9561.31.5+36,821
Hinduism119,8431.71.473,8421.10.8+46,001
Baptist99,9061.41.696,5131.51.6+3,393
Pentecostal71,4611.01.168,9401.11.1+2,521
Judaism39,6690.60.536,7440.60.5+2,925
Lutheran33,0980.51.035,3340.51.1-2,236
Other Eastern Orthodox29,3560.40.329,7430.50.3-387
Maronite Catholic26,7330.40.226,3590.40.2+374
Jehovah's Witnesses23,9170.30.422,6180.30.4+1,299
Macedonian Orthodox23,4910.30.320,7120.30.3+2,779
Seventh Day Adventist23,4440.30.321,7240.30.3+1,720
Sikhism21,7480.30.311,6260.20.1+10,122
Salvation Army18,9760.30.320,4410.30.3-1,465
Other Protestant18,6020.30.317,2700.30.3+1,332
Serbian Orthodox17,6880.30.216,7040.30.2+984
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)16,4030.20.315,8790.20.3+524
Coptic Orthodox15,1250.20.112,8370.20.1+2,288
Other Non-Christian Religions10,7600.20.18,2950.10.1+2,465
Russian Orthodox9,5380.10.18,9000.10.1+638
Assyrian Apostolic8,7190.10.17,0190.10.1+1,700
Churches of Christ7,9210.10.29,5540.10.2-1,633
Brethren7,3550.10.17,7520.10.1-397
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Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Religion - Summary
New South Wales20112006Change
Religion totalsNumber%Australia %Number%Australia %2006 to 2011
Christian total4,462,16364.562.04,434,79167.764.9+27,372
Non Christian total632,6509.17.7484,9067.46.0+147,744
Non-classifiable religious belief47,7910.70.837,0080.60.6+10,783
No religion1,240,53917.921.2933,76614.317.6+306,773
Not stated534,4727.78.3658,69110.110.9-124,219

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Religion, 2011
Religion, 2011 Western (Roman) Catholic, Total Australia population: 25.6% Anglican, Total Australia population: 17.8% Uniting Church, Total Australia population: 4.7% Islam, Total Australia population: 2.4% Presbyterian and Reformed, Total Australia population: 2.9% Buddhism, Total Australia population: 2.6% Greek Orthodox, Total Australia population: 1.8% Christian,nfd, Total Australia population: 2.1% Hinduism, Total Australia population: 1.4% Baptist, Total Australia population: 1.6% Western (Roman) Catholic, New South Wales: 27.0% Anglican, New South Wales: 19.9% Uniting Church, New South Wales: 3.9% Islam, New South Wales: 3.2% Presbyterian and Reformed, New South Wales: 3.1% Buddhism, New South Wales: 2.9% Greek Orthodox, New South Wales: 1.9% Christian,nfd, New South Wales: 1.8% Hinduism, New South Wales: 1.7% Baptist, New South Wales: 1.4%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in religion, 2006 to 2011
Change in religion, 2006 to 2011 Western (Roman) Catholic, New South Wales: +55,902 Anglican, New South Wales: -46,578 Uniting Church, New South Wales: -28,216 Islam, New South Wales: +50,609 Presbyterian and Reformed, New South Wales: -7,148 Buddhism, New South Wales: +32,979 Greek Orthodox, New South Wales: +1,624 Christian,nfd, New South Wales: +36,821 Hinduism, New South Wales: +46,001 Baptist, New South Wales: +3,393
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2006 and 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented  in profile.id by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the religious affiliations of the New South Wales population compared to the Australian population shows that in 2011 there was a higher proportion of people who professed a religion and a lower proportion who stated they had no religion.

Overall, 73.6% of the population nominated a religion, and 17.9% said they had no religion, compared with 69.6% and 21.2% respectively for the Australian population.

The largest single religion in New South Wales was Western (Roman) Catholic, with 27.0% of the population or 1,869,499 people as adherents.

The major differences between the religious affiliations of the New South Wales population compared to the Australian total population were:

  • A larger percentage who nominated Anglican (19.9% compared to 17.8%)
  • A larger percentage who nominated Western (Roman) Catholic (27.0% compared to 25.6%)

Emerging groups

The largest changes in the religious affiliations of the New South Wales population between 2006 and 2011 were for those who nominated:

  • Western (Roman) Catholic (+55,902 persons)
  • Islam (+50,609 persons)
  • Anglican (-46,578 persons)
  • Hinduism (+46,001 persons)