The lastest figures from the 2011 Census indicate that Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam are the fastest growing religions in Greater Shepparton.
Christians are the largest religious group in the Greater Shepparton Census results for the 2011 Census. The second largest group is No Religion.
In the Community Profile released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on 21 June 2012, in Shepparton there were 60,448 persons counted by the census; of these, 54,805 persons replied to the religion question, (including those who indicated no religion. Over 90% of residents in Greater Shepparton answered the religion question, indicating their religion, or lack thereof.
The largest religious grouping were Christians, with a total of 37,803, which is slightly down on the total of 38,150 reported in the 2001 Census, and the 2006 census reported 36,623 Christians in Greater Shepparton, giving an increase in the Christian population of 1180 persons since 2006.
The breakdown of membership of Christian Churches in the Greater Shepparton was 16,273 for Roman Catholic, 8,866 for Anglican and 5,111 for the Uniting Church. The largest age group for Christians was the 45 - 54, closely followed by the 55 - 64 age group.
The next largest response to the Religion question for Greater Shepparton was the "No Religion" category, which numbered 12,196 respondents. Over half these respondents were males (6,445 persons). This group also includes those who responses indicated Agnostic, Humanist, Rationalist and Atheist. There has been an increase of 2% of persons reporting "No Religion" since the 2006 Census.
Some 2,978 persons gave Islam their religion. The 2001 Census recorded, 1,753 Muslims, and in the 2006 Census, 2,178 persons gave Islam as their religion. Since the 2001 Census, there has been an increase of 1225 Muslims in Greater Shepparton. This is 4.9 percent of the total responses to the religion question. The demographics show there is a larger percentage of Muslims living in Greater Shepparton compared to the standardised results for Victoria and Australia.
380 persons recorded their religious affiliation as Buddhist, up from 203 persons who gave Buddhism as their response in 2006, and from 150 persons in 2001. This shows the Buddhist population more than doubling in ten years.
Hinduism grew from 68 persons in 2001 to 115 in the 2006 Census and 360 in 2011. This represents an increase of 313% of Hindus in Greater Shepparton.
Greater Shepparton is host to the Sikh Gurduara in Doyles Road. The Census does not at this point give an enumeration of Sikhs in the region; we presume they are included in "Other Religious Groups". This numbers 636 persons. The Census has principal religious categories for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Other Religions and No Religion. Looking at the language groups, there are 502 members of the Punjabi language group, which we may estimate as an indicator of the Sikh population in Greater Shepparton.
Additional categories exist for Chinese Religions, Druse, Japanese Religions, Nature Religions, Sikhism, Spiritualist, and Miscellaneous Religions. The classification of religious groups also includes sub-groupings for Turkish, Sunni, Shia and Shiite Muslims.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release further material from the 2011 Census in July and August.
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