What is our religion?
Derived from the Census question, "What is your religion?" (This is an optional question). This is a multi-response question.
Religion statistics provide an indicator of cultural identity and ethnicity when observed in conjunction with other key demographic variables. Religion statistics reveal the major concentrations of religions in an area as well as highlighting the proportion of persons with no religion. There are a number of reasons for different religious compositions across areas. These include:
- the country of birth and ethnic background of the population;
- the age of the population (belief in religion is generally stronger, the older the population); and
- changes in the values and belief systems in New Zealand society.
Wellington City's Religion statistics should be analysed in conjunction with Ethnicity statistics, Maori Descent, Country of Birth data and Languages Spoken data to assist in identifying specific cultural and ethnic groups in an area.
top 10 religions ranked for 2006
|Usual residence||number||%||Wellington Region %||number||%||Wellington Region %||2001 to 2006
|Presbyterian, Congregational and Reformed||11,940||6.5||7.9||13,065||7.8||9.2||-1,125
|Not elsewhere included||19,524||10.6||11.4||22,287||13.2||12.8||-2,763
Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings, 2006, 2001 and 1996.
Please refer to the specific data notes for more information.
Religion is coded using the New Zealand standard religious classification.
Please note that religion is an optional question on the Census form and respondents have the right to object to answering.
Religion is a multiple-response question, however, due to the very low rate of multiple responses (3.4% of the population nominated more than one religion), it has been treated as a single response question. The table total represents total responses, and will be slightly higher than the total population. This total has been used for the calculation of percentages. For the subtotals "Christian" and "Non Christian" it is technically possible for a respondent to appear in both these categories. However, it is considered that the multiple-response rate is low enough that the value of having these aggregates in the table outweighs any possible misinterpretations.
The response 'No religion' is exclusive of any other response.
Analysis of the religious affiliation of Wellington City's population in 2006 compared to Wellington Region shows that there was a lower proportion of people who professed a religion and a lower proportion who stated they had no religion.
Overall, 53.1% of the population nominated a religion, and 36.3% said they had no religion, compared with 55.6% and 32.9% respectively for Wellington Region.
The dominant single religion in Wellington City was Catholic, with 14.9% of the population or 27,441 people as adherents.
The major differences between the religious affiliation of Wellington City's population and that of Wellington Region were:
- A smaller percentage of Anglican (12.0% compared to 13.5%), and;
- A smaller percentage of Presbyterian, Congregational and Reformed (6.5% compared to 7.9%).
The largest changes in the religion statistics for Wellington City between 2001 and 2006 were for those who nominated:
- Catholic (+1,428 persons);
- Anglican (-1,308 persons);
- Presbyterian, Congregational and Reformed (-1,125 persons), and;
- Buddhist (+849 persons).