New Zealanders and Australians have a lot in common. We think of ourselves as sibling nations. We often tell jokes about each other (I must say, however, that Australian jokes about Kiwis usually involve sheep and don’t seem funny to me).
But look at the figures for religious affiliation taken from census data. Why are the “no relgion” results lower in Australia than New Zealand? And the “Christian results correspondingly higher?
(OK, we may have jokes about this – but seriously).
Well, have a look at the actual census questions about religion asked in the two countries.
Notice that the “no religion” choice is at the top of the list in New Zealand question (number 18 – grey) but buried at the bottom in the Australian question (number 19 – orange).
Do Australians opt for a religion in their census answers because they don’t , at first glance, notice the “no religion” option?
Does the Australian census overestimate religiosity?
Christianity – a declining population.