Archbishop Mark Coleridge believes the latest census data showing a drop in religious affiliation suggests “the young are more interested in unorganised spirituality than organised religion, and that they aren’t as interested in denominations as their forebears were.”
Catholicism remains by far the most dominant religion in Australia with more than 5.2 million followers, however the 2016 census data shows a decline in religious affiliation, particularly amongst the young.
In 2016, 22.6% of Australia’s 23.4 million population listed Catholicism under religious affiliation, compared to 25.3% in 2011. However the 2016 census shows that the number of people who listed “no religion” had risen to about 30%, almost double the figure in the 2001 census.
About 13% of Aus-tralians listed “Angli-can” as their religious affiliation (second behi-nd the Catholic Church), com-pared to 17.1% in 2011. For Archbishop Coleridge, who is leading the plans for a plenary council to discuss the future of the Church, the census data is nothing new.
Archbishop Coleridge said the Church should consider the advice of a famous psychologist and consider the facts as “friendly.”
The census shows that 44.7% of families were couples with children, while 37.8% were couples without children. Another 15.8% were one parent families, and 1.7% were listed as “other family types.” This data has barely changed since 2011.