1200.0.55.003 - Religious Affiliation Standard, 2016  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/08/2016   
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COLLECTION OF VARIABLE DATA

SCOPE

Statistical units

Religious Affiliation is an attribute of the statistical unit 'person'. The variable Religious Affiliation applies to all persons.


QUESTION MODULES

Introduction to the question modules

Religious Affiliation is considered sensitive information and answering a question about it is optional in all Australian Bureau of Statistics collections (see section 14(3) of the Census and Statistics Act 1905).

There are four standard question modules for collecting Religious Affiliation:

  • two detailed question modules, comprising:
    • Alternative one: detailed question module for all persons, and
    • Alternative two: detailed question module for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • two short question modules, comprising:
    • Alternative one: short question module for all persons, and
    • Alternative two: short question module for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The choice of module may be informed by the following factors:
  • information needs
  • cost of processing the data
  • space available in the collection instrument, and
  • respondent burden.

Each alternative to the question modules may be accompanied by a brief explanatory note about why Religious Affiliation is collected, including instructions about how to answer the question. The explanatory note can be included with the chosen question module or in supplementary documentation. The recommended text for the explanatory note is in Appendix A.

For detailed question modules, respondents should be instructed to select one option only.

The option lists for the detailed question modules include religious groups according to their statistical frequency in Australia, based on data from the Census of Population and Housing. These option lists may be extended to enable longer lists to be displayed such as in electronic collection drop down lists (see Appendix B). If there are space constraints on paper forms, the option lists can be reduced. The 'No religion' option should always be included.

Detailed question modules

The detailed question modules are recommended where extensive data is required on religious affiliation.

Detailed question module - Alternative one
(For all persons)

Q. What is [your] [the person's] [(name)'s] religion?
    (Answering this question is OPTIONAL)
    For example, Salvation Army, Lutheran, Judaism, Humanism, Acts 2 Alliance, Personal Spiritual Beliefs or Taoism.

    If no religion, select the last option.

Catholic
Anglican (Church of England)
Uniting Church
Presbyterian
Buddhism
Islam
Greek Orthodox
Baptist
Hinduism
Other - please specify: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
No religion

Detailed question module - Alternative two
(For use when collecting data from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities)

Q. What is [your] [the person's] [(name)'s] religion?
    (Answering this question is OPTIONAL)
    For example, Salvation Army, Brethren, Acts 2 Alliance, Personal Spiritual Beliefs, Wesleyan Methodist or Humanism.

    If no religion, select the last option.

Traditional Beliefs
Anglican (Church of England)
Catholic
Uniting Church
Lutheran
Baptist
Aboriginal Evangelical Missions
Other - please specify: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
No religion

Short question modules

The short question modules are suitable when detailed data on religious affiliation is not required. In comparison to the detailed question modules, these modules will use less space in the collection instrument and may increase respondent burden and coding costs.

Short question module - Alternative one
(For all persons)

Q. What is [your] [the person's] [(name)'s] religion?
(Answering this question is OPTIONAL)
For example, Judaism, Humanism, Islam, Greek Orthodox, Baptist, Catholic, Anglican, Acts 2 Alliance, Uniting Church, Personal Spiritual Beliefs or Taoism.

Please enter/write your religion or select the option of no religion.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
No religion


Short question module - Alternative two
(For use when collecting data from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities)

Q. What is [your] [the person's] [(name)'s] religion?
(Answering this question is OPTIONAL)
For example, Traditional Beliefs, Anglican, Catholic, Aboriginal Evangelical Missions, Uniting Church, Lutheran, or Baptist.

Please enter/write your religion or select the option of no religion.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
No religion