Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Australian Census 2016 and the 'No religion' option

So, apparently this piece of idiocy is doing the rounds on social media.

It's a shame that people are falling for it. Let me analyse it... 

If this came from a Lawyer, it was from one who got their degree on the back of a cornflakes box.

Yes, the Census is Tuesday the 9th of August.

"For the first time this year there will be a 'no religion' option" <- Wrong. The no religion option has been there since 1991. It's just that this time, it's at the top.

Yes, the Muslim population will mark 'Muslim' on the form. All 2.2% of them. About 475,000 people. Fewer, it might be added, than Buddhists at 2.5% or 529,000 people. Christians, conversely, made up about 61% of the population in the 2011 census or 13,150,600 people - significantly higher than the 2.2% of Muslims.

The largest group among the Christians are the Catholics at 25.3% or 5,439,200 people. The 'no religion' total is about 22.3% or 4,796,800 people. About 800,000 people behind the Catholics (not Christians in general - just the Catholics).

"Eventhough you may now have no religion, please consider enter the religion you were christened or born into" <- This is asking you to lie on your census form, which I think you'll find is illegal (I'm struggling to find out for certain). Hardly advice you'd expect from a lawyer.

"Otherwise in time Australia will officially be declared a Muslim country" <- There are 5,000,000 more *Catholics* in Australia than Muslims. Not Christians in general, just Catholics. For Muslims to be the highest sub-group approximately 2,500,000 people who put Catholic on the last census would have to put MUSLIM on this one. That's simply not going to happen.

And even then, the 3,000,000 *Muslims* would still be behind the 7,711,000 remaining Christians and would still be behind the nearly 5 million 'no religion' people.

But...No one is asking Catholics to put "Muslim" on their form. People are asking that if you are 'no religion' you put 'no religion'.

Approximately 22.3% or 4,769,000 people marked No Religion on the 2011 census. When a similar change was made to the New Zealand census, the 'no religion' response grew about 7%. If that were to happen in Australia - and ONLY from the Christians, it would see No Religion rise to about 6,330,000 people and Christians drop to about 10,550,000 people. STILL significantly higher than any other group, and MORE than 10 MILLION people higher than 'Muslims'.

Please don't fall for the nonsense. Please don't be 'scared' into lying on your census form because of morons. Say no to bullshit

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you wrote about this. I was going to and never got around to it - it turned up on my Facebook feed and I trashed it there but never did anything with it. I can't imagine where it started, but if it was a lawyer, it's no wonder he or she didn't append their name to it. I don't know for sure either whether or not it's legal to lie on your census form, but I would imagine it is and either way, being told to do it by a lawyer would be ethically dubious.

    I was also surprised to see the claim that it was the "first time" it would be on the Australian census form. Surprised because I doubted it was true (as a NZer I've never seen your form). It's good to hear that it's not true. Last census 42% (iirc) of NZers ticked the "no religion" box and it hasn't done us any harm - we still won the rugby world cup! :-)