Australia has always been considered a Christian country but are those days numbered? If we are to understand the direction that the Australian Census is heading then it could be changing.
The section “What is the person’s religion?” has always had “No Religion” low on the list of options, usually located after “Other”. This year’s Census, which will be conducted on 9 August 2016, will have “No Religion” on the top of options for the first time.
While some are seeing this sections reorder as a slight on religion, others are seeing it as the growth of our society. The Australian Bureau of Statistics asked for feedback about the content of previous Census, and the question of people’s religious affiliation received the most submissions. Kylie Sturgess, President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, “We are a secular country, and we would like to see whether or not people are actually reflecting upon what we think is a secular country and saying yes, it truly is, and demonstrating it in Census data.”
I remember scanning the page last time to find ‘No religion’. I think many will appreciate this slight Census change https://t.co/F7byyakn61
— Sarah Maree Cameron (@xsarahmareex) June 6, 2016
The reordering has been said not to be a call for alarm as people that identify as religious can still choose their religion’s box but is giving the growing number of individuals who don’t identify with any religion quicker access to their option.