- Religious Freedom
- Religious Regulation
- Religious Support
- Public Opinion
Preferred Religion (2015)1: Western Christian
Majority Religion (2015)2: Not Religious (incl. Atheist) (40.4%)
Religious Adherents, (2015)2
|New Zealand||Australia/New Zealand||World|
|Christian (all denominations combined)||44%||56.5%||29.9%|
|Buddhist (all denominations combined)||1.4%||2.5%||6.6%|
|Muslim (all denominations combined)||1.1%||2.4%||22.8%|
|Not Religious (incl. Atheist)||40.4%||27.7%||12%|
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.
1. The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.
2. The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.
3. 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.