Submission to the Australian Bureau of Statistics – Changing the Australian Census question on religion

The question on religion in the Australian Census contains two elements which are problematical in obtaining accurate figures. The two problems are:

  1. It asks, “What is the person’s religion?” This is a leading question and can elicit a religion of baptism when the person may no longer be affiliated with any religion.
  2. The box for ‘No religion’ is hidden at the bottom of the list.

This is the Atheist Foundation of Australia’s submission (http://atheistfoundation.org.au/assets/census-question-alteration.pdf) to the Australian Bureau of Statistics asking for the question on religion to be altered in line with a changing demographic. The AFA’s Census Committee considers that many submissions rather than one signed off on by other groups would be a more effective procedural method.

The AFA’s approach in this matter is that we have more chances of changing the question if we minimise the impact to the ABS. We feel that offering up a complex solution could allow the ABS to make no changes to the question.

If your organisation/group or individuals wish to make a submission to the ABS please feel free to use the ideas contained in the Atheist Foundation of Australia submission.

General information page regarding submissions:
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/2007.0main+features142016

David Nicholls
President
Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
Private Mail Bag 6
MAITLAND SA 5573

Phone: (08) 8835 2269
Email: info@atheistfoundation.org.au
Web: http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au


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