The Atheist Foundation of Australia ran the ‘Mark No Religion’campaign in the months leading up to the Australian Census in August 2011 encouraging those who do not practice a religion to answer the question accurately.
No Religion has shown a marked increase with 5 of the 8 states and territories showing it as the top response. The ACT, Tasmania and SA have the highest number of non-religious at over 28%.
David Nicholls, president of the Atheist Foundation of Australia said, “Today’s results released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that Australians with no religion is climbing quite rapidly while the religious and particularly the Christian portion of society is in decline.
The No religion figure for 2006 was 18.7%. This climbed to 22.3% in 2011.
Nicholls stated, “The loaded question of ‘What is your religion’, with the no religion box at the bottom of the list of choices on the Census form, and people marking their religion of baptism out of habit, one would expect the figures not to represent reality.”
The Census figures are totally inadequate in providing an accurate picture of faith and no-faith in Australia. Politicians and religious leaders use these fundamentally flawed statistics in making laws and influencing the population to accept various notions. Even these extremely distorted figures show about a quarter of the Australian population do not have a religion in their lives. We are not a Christian nation at all.
As there is now an obvious need, the AFA will be contacting the Australian Bureau of Statistics for discussion concerning changing the content and format of the question of religion on the Census form.
Atheist Foundation of Australia
Private Mail Bag 6
Maitland SA 5573