NZ Census – fewer Catholics but the most populous religion

Declining numbers in all the mainstream churches means that Catholicism has emerged as the most populous religion in New Zealand.

The 2013 New Zealand census shows that of the total population of 4.2 M, population, 3.9 M stated their religious affiliation. Of those, 1.635 M, (1 in 4), say they had no religious affiliation, up from 1.297 M who did so in the 2006 census. This represents a 26% increase and it means New Zealand one of the most secular countries in the world.

  • People affiliating with Christianity fell 8 per cent to 1.9 million.
  • All the major Christian churches have declining membership,
  • The smaller Pentecostal church and other smaller evangelical institutions have show an increased membership of their respective churches.
  • The Anglican Church has lost almost 100,000 members with the total population down to 459,000. The sharp decline means Catholicism, even though recording a small decline in membership – (17,000 fewer than in 2006) – with a total population of 492,000 has become the most populous religion in New Zealand.
  • The membership of other religions, those associated with migrants to New Zealand, has significantly increased.
  • A Christian majority in New Zealand is uncertain.  The number who identified as “no religion” or who didn’t answer the religious affiliation question was more than the total number who identified as Christian.






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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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