Census 2021 results show Hinduism in Australia increased by 55.3 per cent

Census 2021 results are out today. Hinduism in Australia has increased by 55.3 per cent at 684,002 people. Hindi language speakers are in 197,132 homes where as Punjabi language has shown the most increase as language spoken at home in 239,033 homes. India (673,352) stands at number 2 after England (927,490) as the country of birth living in Australia.

The 2021 Census has revealed increasing diversity in the religions Australians identified, reflecting continuing changes in our social attitudes and belief systems.

Christianity is the most common religion in Australia, with over 40 per cent (43.9 per cent) identifying as Christian. This has reduced from over 50 per cent (52.1 per cent) in 2016 and from over 60 per cent (61.1 per cent) in 2011. As in earlier Censuses, the largest Christian denominations are Catholic (20.0 per cent of the population) and Anglican (9.8 per cent).

While fewer people are reporting their religion as Christian, more are reporting ‘no religion’. Almost 40 per cent (38.9 per cent) of Australia’s population reported having no religion in the 2021 Census, an increase from 30 per cent (30.1 per cent) in 2016 and 22 per cent (22.3 per cent) in 2011.

Other religions are growing but continue to make up a small proportion of the population. Hinduism has grown by 55.3 per cent to 684,002 people, or 2.7 per cent of the population. Islam has grown to 813,392 people, which is 3.2 per cent of the Australian population.

Dr David Gruen AO, Australian Statistician, said “The religion question holds a special place in the Census – it is one of the few topics that has been in every one of Australia’s 18 Censuses and is the only question that is voluntary.

Despite being voluntary, we saw an increase in the proportion of people answering the question, from 91 per cent in 2016 to 93 per cent in 2021.

Census religion data shows a characteristic of Australia that has changed significantly over the past two decades. Knowing about the religious affiliation across the population supports local planning for facilities, goods and services for Australians who identify as religious and helps them to live according to their beliefs”.

For further information about 2021 Census data, tune into the 2021 Census data release launch on 28 June at 10:00am AEST at http://www.abs.gov.au/census/events or explore the data at www.abs.gov.au/census/find-census-data.  


Other important Census 2021 Results in relation to the Indian community:

Top 5 countries of birth (excluding Australia)(a), 2021 Census
CountryCensus population count
India 673,352
China (excludes SARs and Taiwan)549,618
New Zealand530,492
  • Based on place of usual residence. Excludes overseas visitors.



Punjabi language has shown the most increase in Indian languages spoken at home with 239,033 people speaking language of Punjabi at home whereas Hindi speaking homes are 197,132.

Language used at home, top responses (other than English)Sydney – Outer West and Blue Mountains% Sydney – Outer West and Blue MountainsNew South Wales% New South WalesAustralia% Australia
 null null null null null null null
English only used at home263,71679.45,457,98267.618,303,66272.0
Households where a non-English language is used21,57718.4856,91129.52,295,68824.8

The use of languages at home reflects our changing communities:

  • Mandarin continues to be the most common language other than English with 685,274 people using Mandarin at home.
  • This is followed by Arabic (367,159 people), Vietnamese (320,758 people), and Cantonese (295,281 people).
  • Punjabi had the largest increase, with the 2021 Census showing 239,033 people using Punjabi at home.
  • Nepali featured in the top five languages used at home in both ACT (1.3 per cent) and Tasmania (1.3 per cent).

In 2021, most people in NSW only used English at home (67.6%). This was down from 68.5% in 2016.

After English the most common languages used were Mandarin (3.4%), Arabic (2.8%), Cantonese (1.8%) and Vietnamese (1.5%).

More information on Language used at home (LANP)
Languages used at home data is based on place of usual residence
Households where a non-English language is used, is based on place of enumeration


The 2021 Census tells us about where we live:

  • Almost 80 per cent of Australian residents live in eastern Australia in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.
  • NSW continues to be the largest state with over 8 million people, with Victoria not far behind with 6.5 million people.
  • ACT had the fastest growth with a 14.4 per cent (57,102 people) increase since 2016.
  • 66.9 per cent of people counted were in Greater Capital Cities and 33.1 per cent were in the rest of Australia.
  • Greater Sydney remains the largest city in Australia with 5.2 million people, followed by Melbourne with 4.9 million people and Brisbane with 2.5 million people.


Country of birth and ancestry

Australia has a rich mix of cultural backgrounds and heritage, with the number of people living in Australia who were born overseas continuing to increase.

  • The proportion of Australian residents that are born overseas (first generation) or have a parent born overseas (second generation) has moved above 50 per cent (51.5 per cent).
  • The top five most commonly reported ancestries in the 2021 Census followed previous trends and included English at 33.0 per cent, Australian at 29.9 per cent, Irish at 9.5 per cent, Scottish at 8.6 per cent and Chinese at 5.5 per cent.


First generation refers to people living in Australia who were born overseas.
Second generation refers to people living in Australia who were Australian born with one or both parents born overseas. 
Third+ generation refers to people living in Australia who were Australian born with both parents born in Australia.


Country of birth

Most people in NSW were born in Australia. The proportion of people who were born overseas has increased over time. In 1971, 19.1% of people were born overseas. This increased to 27.6% in 2016, and 29.3% in 2021.

In 2021, the top five countries of birth in NSW were:

  • Australia (65.4%)
  • China (3.1%)
  • England (2.9%)
  • India (2.6%)
  • New Zealand (1.5%)



In 2021, the main religious affiliation in NSW was Christianity (47.6%). This proportion has decreased over time as people reporting non-Christian religions and no religious affiliation have increased. In 2016, Christian affiliation was 55.2%, and in 1971 it was 88.4%.

In 2021, 12.1% of people in NSW were affiliated with a non-Christian religion. The most common were Islam (4.3%), Hinduism (3.4%) and Buddhism (2.8%).

The percentage of people who identified as having no religious affiliation was 33.2% in 2021. This was an increase from 25.5% in 2016, and 5.5% in 1971.

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