4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, Nov 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/11/2013   
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20 November 2013
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)

One in five Australians has no religion

The number of people reporting no religion has increased steadily over recent years, according to the latest Australian Social Trends (AST) report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

The article looks at people who reported no religion in the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.

ABS Director of Social and Progress Reporting, Ms Fiona Dowsley, said that according to the latest Census, just over one in five Australians have no religion (22%).

"Rates of reporting no religion have been steadily rising, and Australia is not alone in this - rates are also rising for countries like New Zealand, England and Wales, Canada, the United States and Ireland,” Ms Dowsley said.

The analysis shows an increasing number of young Australians with no religion and around half the people reporting no religion were under 30 years of age. People who were highly educated were also more likely to report no religion.

The report found that people with no religion in couple relationships were more likely to be in a de facto relationship than those who reported a religion.

"In 2011, both Tasmania and the ACT had the highest rates of people reporting no religion at 29 per cent, while NSW had the lowest rate at 18 per cent," Ms Dowsley said.

Further details are available in Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) available for free download from the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au).

Media Note: Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.