Australia’s Catholic population is falling, and the number of those who claim “no religion” is now the country’s largest bloc, according to the latest census figures.
In the 2016 census, 29.6% of all Australians described themselves as having “no religion.” That number is nearly double the figure for 2001 (16%), and dwarfs the tiny 0.8% first recorded in 1966.
Over the same span of time, since 1966, the Christian proportion of the country’s population has saffed from 88% to 52%.
Until the current census, Catholics had comprised the largest single religious group in Australia, having taken that status from Anglicans in the early 1980s. But having stood between 26 and 28% for nearly 50 years, the Catholic proportion of the country’s population is now dropping toward 20%.