Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

CENSUS: Richer, older and slightly less European

CENSUS: Richer, older and slightly less European

Hinduism has been the fastest growing religion in Australia in the span of 25 years, according to information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

However, the proportion of people reporting no religion rose to 30 per cent in 2016 up from 22 per cent five years ago and almost double the 16 per cent in 2001.

While English remains Australia's most-used language, it is becoming less common, with 72.7 per cent of residents reporting they spoke only English at home, down from 76.8 per cent in 2011.

Nearly half of Australians were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was born abroad, according to new census data which shows that the country is becoming more Asian and less European.

The figures also show that the number of households with six or more people has increased by 20% since 2011.

The Salt Shakers, a "Christian ethics action group" based in Melbourne, circulated an email imploring Australians to "Bear in mind that although many Australians have no religion these days, the Muslim population in Australia will all declare that they are Muslim and this fact will be counted to ascertain what type of country we are in regard to religion ..."

Two-thirds of the population now live in capital cities, with five million in Sydney and four-and-a-half million in Melbourne.

In addition, there was a 39 percent increase of couples who were identified as being same-sex in Australia (46,800 in 2016), while the median age of same-sex couples were drastically lower than those in more "traditional" pairings (40 years of age compared to 48).

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the latest figures of the country's fast changing population and demographics that has recorded 1.3 million new migrants settled in Australia since 2011 from around 180 countries, including India and China.

A family poses for a photograph in the World Square shopping center located in central Sydney, Australia, June 26, 2017.

Nevertheless, 60 percent of the population still reports to have religious belief and Australia's population represents more than 100 faiths. The question, as it appeared on the census household paper form, specified housework, food and drink preparation and cleanup, laundry, gardening, home maintenance and repairs, and household shopping and finance management.

Professor Evans said that inner city areas with younger, more progressive residents - which she colloquially described as "the lentil belt" - documented this trend across Australia. The rates of volunteering are highest among women aged 35 to 44 at 399,889 people and overall, the rates of volunteering are highest in the 45 to 54 year age group at 679,602 people.

Mandarin is spoken by 2.2 percent of Australians, while Arabic is spoken by 1.4 percent. One point two per cent of Australians speak Vietnamese, and another 1.2 per cent Cantonese.

The national headcount puts Australia's population at 23.4 million, with 2.3 million people in WA.

Australia's population expanded by 372,805 people over the year to December 2016 to 24,385,625 people.

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