Essential Report

Fastest Growing Religion

Feb 28, 2011

Q. Which of the following religions do you think has grown the fastest in Australia during the 10 years between 1996 and 2006, when the last national census was taken?


Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Christianity (including Catholic, Uniting Church, Anglican, etc) 8% 7% 11% 7%
Hinduism 3% 2% 3% 4%
Islam (Muslim) 57% 58% 64% 50%
Buddhism 5% 3% 4% 11%
Judaism (Jewish) * 1%
Don’t know/Refuse 27% 29% 19% 27%


57% believe that Islam is the fastest growing religion in Australia. This perception is broadly similar across all age/gender groups – although a little higher for Liberal/National voters (64%) and those aged 55+ (65%).

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Concern about Muslims (post information)

Feb 28, 2011

Q. The 2006 Census figures show that in fact the fastest growing religions in Australia are Hinduism, Buddhism and then Islam.   Presently, only 1.71% of the Australian population identifies as Muslim.  In light of this information, how concerned are you about the number of Muslim people in Australia?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total concerned 50% 43% 62% 22%
Total not concerned 45% 54% 35% 76%
Very Concerned 22% 18% 29% 11%
Somewhat concerned 28% 25% 33% 11%
Not very concerned 26% 27% 24% 32%
Not at all concerned 19% 27% 11% 44%
Don’t know 5% 4% 4% 1%

After being given some information about the number of Muslims in Australia, 50% said they were still very/somewhat concerned and 45% said they were not very or not at all concerned. This represents a 7% fall in level of concern from the question asked before this information was given to respondents.

All demographic and voter groups showed a similar fall in level of concern.

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