Religion in Australia is steadily changing, with the number of people turning to Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam rising.
The 2016 Census showed almost a third of Australia’s population identify as having ‘no religion,’ although many of those still see themselves as spiritual.
While Christianity’s popularity has plummeted, down from 96.9 per cent of the population in 1921 to just scraping half of today’s citizens at 52 per cent, Sikhism and Hinduism have steadily risen.
In 2011, Hinduism and Sikhism had a combined 350,000 practitioners.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Census found that number had risen by over 200,000 people by the year 2016, with 80 per cent of those practitioners born overseas.
The statistics suggest children with non-religious parents will almost certainly grow up also not identifying with one particular religion, while children from religious families are also less likely than previous generations to share their parents values.
Meditation is a new age form of expression for many millennials, as is veganism, and other movements toward positive mental health and wellbeing.
They draw inspiration from a multitude of sources, and many don’t feel the need to be tied to a particular religion.
Sikhism and Hinduism have seen a rise in western Sydney, particularly in Parramatta, Rosehill, Glenwood and Harris Park.
Islam continues to grow at a rapid rate as well, only slightly trailing behind Hinduism.
Granville, Guildford, Lakemba and Auburn, also in Sydney’s west, have all seen exponential rises in the Islamic faith.
Meanwhile, Newtown and Enmore topped the statistics for residents in Sydney with no specific religion.
The newfound surge in a ‘no religion’ option does not suggest people are instead turning to atheism, instead, the younger generation are generally more accepting of cultural and religious variety.
The relevancy of religion, particularly in the younger demographic, has simply dropped off.
GROWTH OF RELIGION
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics