The move away from religion in the Mountains was dramatic between the 2006 and 2011 censuses with an increase of almost 25 per cent in those not identifying with any faith.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently issued its first release of data from last year’s census and the comparisons over the intervening five years were stark in some areas.
The overall number of people counted in the Mountains as part of the census (75,464) increased by a steady 2.4 per cent. But it was religious identity that showed the most dramatic change with 3869 more people checking ‘no religion’ on their forms than in 2006, representing a rise of 24 per cent.
There was a 2.8 per cent decrease in those identifying with a Christian religion, though almost 60 per cent of people still considered themselves bound to one of those faiths.
The next biggest religion in the Mountains was clearly Bhuddism, with 1148 people identifying with that faith, a 14 per cent increase since 2006.
Language was another evolving category with an increase of almost 10 per cent in people speaking a tongue other than English in their home.
The good news is incomes have also been on the march with the median weekly pay jumping from $500 to $587. The boost was even more dramatic for families with the median income increasing by 21 per cent to $1624 per week.
Depending on which way you look at it, the figures may not be quite so comforting when it comes to age. The median age in the Mountains went up by two years to 41, matching the two year increase between the 2001 and 2006 censuses.