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Religious Adherents, 2010 (World Christian Database)1

New Zealand Australia/New Zealand World
Baha'i 0.2% 0.1% 0.1%
Buddhist 2.2% 2.1% 7.2%
Chinese Universalist 0.3% 0.3% 6.3%
Christian 61.0% 70.8% 32.8%
Confucianist 0.0% 0.2% 0.1%
Ethnoreligionist 0.9% 0.4% 3.5%
Hindu 2.0% 1.0% 13.8%
Jain 0.0% <0.1% <0.1%
Jewish 0.1% 0.4% 0.2%
Muslim 1.0% 1.8% 22.5%
Shintoist 0.0% 0.0% <0.1%
Sikh 0.2% 0.2% 0.3%
Spiritist <0.1% <0.1% 0.2%
Taoist 0.0% <0.1% 0.1%
Zoroastrian 0.0% <0.1% <0.1%
Neoreligionists <0.1% 0.4% 0.9%
Atheist 1.3% 1.8% 2.0%
Agnostic 30.6% 20.4% 9.8%

Religious Demography2

The country is an island nation with an area of 103,000 square miles and a population of 4.2 million.  According to 2006 census data, percentages of religious affiliation are:  Anglican, 14.8 percent; Roman Catholic, 13.6 percent; Presbyterian, 10.7 percent; other Christian, 8.2 percent; Christian (no specific identification), 5 percent; Methodist, 3.3 percent; Buddhist, 1.7 percent; Hindu, 1.7 percent; and Muslim, 1 percent.  There were also more than 90 religious groups that together constituted less than 1 percent of the population.  In addition, 34.7 percent stated that they had no religious affiliation.

The indigenous Maori (estimated at 15 percent of the population) tend to be followers of Presbyterianism, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), or Maori Christian groups such as Ratana and Ringatu.  The Auckland area, which accounts for approximately 33 percent of the country's population, exhibited the greatest religious diversity.

While the country is predominantly Christian, recent trends indicate that it is becoming more religiously diverse.  According to the 2006 census, approximately 56 percent of citizens identify themselves as Christian, a 5 percent decrease from the 2001 census.  Within the Christian community, Anglicans and Presbyterians exhibited a decline between 2001 and 2006, while the number of self-identified Pentecostals and "Evangelical, Born Again, and Fundamentalist Christians" increased by 17.8 percent and 25.6 percent, respectively.  Syncretistic Maori Christian churches such as Ratana and Ringatu also experienced significant growth, and the proportion of Roman Catholics and Methodists grew slightly.  During the same period, non-Christian religious groups continued to show steady growth rates, driven primarily by immigration.


Note: The World Christian Database (WCD) estimates, used in the Religious Adherents section above, count each person as belonging to a maximum of one religious group. For more information, see the WCD methodology document. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom report estimates, used in the Religious Demography section, use less restrictive criteria in which a person who identifies with more than one religion is classified as a follower of each. In certain cases (such as Japan and other nations with strong folk religion traditions), this can cause counts to vary widely between estimates. Users are advised to consult the relevant source documents before determining which counts to cite.

1.  The World Christian Database (WCD) is based on the 2600-page award-winning World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends, first published in 1982 and revised in 2001. This extensive work on World religion is now completely updated and integrated into the WCD online database. Designed for both the casual user and research scholar, information is readily available on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demographic statistics. Additional secular data is incorporated on population, health, education, and communications. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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