2901.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/08/2016
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Religious Affiliation (RELP)
A question on religious denomination has been included in all Australian Censuses, but answering this question has always been optional. The option not to answer this question is provided for in legislation.
For the 2016 Census, the No Religion option became the first response category in the Religious Affiliation question. From 1991 to 2011, the No Religion option was the last response category for the question.
Responses to the religion question are coded to the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG). The ASCRG was first published in 1996. The 2016 Census uses the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG), 2016 (cat. no. 1266.0) to code religious affiliation.
Data on religious affiliation are used for such purposes as planning educational facilities, aged care and other social services provided by religion-based organisations; the location of church buildings; the assigning of chaplains to hospitals, prisons, armed services and universities; the allocation of time on public radio and other media; and sociological research.
See also Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG).