Census reveals meteoric rise of Sikhism in Australia

A Sikh man attired as a traditional Sikh warrior 'Nihang' during Vaisakhi celebration in Melbourne. Source: SBS Punjabi/ Shamsher Kainth

The number of Sikhs living in Australia has risen 500 per cent in the last ten years.

The 2016 Census data has revealed that Sikhism has grown over 500 per cent in Australia in the last ten years.

The 2006 Census recorded the number of Sikhs in Australia at 26,000 which has gone up to 129,900 just ten years later.

The number of Sikhs in Australia has almost doubled in the last five years from 72,296 counted in the last Census.

The first Sikh arrivals in Australia go back nearly 150 years back when many Sikh hawkers left their homes in the Punjab region of the erstwhile colonial India. But Sikhs began arriving in Australia in big numbers only towards the end of the last century.

Manmeet Alisher's Vigil

Another religion with its root in India is flourishing in Australia.

Hinduism has grown over 300 per cent in the last ten years. The 2006 Census figures reveal there were 148,100 Hindus living in Australia, forming 0.7 per cent of the total population.

Two census’s later, the religion is close to the half-million mark. The latest Census data reveals the number of followers of the ancient Indian religion in Australia at 440,300 (1.9 per cent of the total population).

Though Christianity remaining the most common religion (52 per cent of the population), the number of people who chose “no religion” is on the rise with nearly a third of Australians expressing this. 30% of all Australians exercised this option compared to 22 per cent in the last Census.

Islam (2.6 per cent) and Buddhism (2.4 per cent) were the next most common religions reported.

Watch this space for community specific Census results. 

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