How Many Muslims In Australia?

Islam is the fastest growing religion and will soon be the largest in the world

According to a report by the Department of Immigration and Indigenous Affairs, “Religious faith has been at the core or close to the core of Australian social and political life since the arrival of the Europeans.”

Initially we were a Christian majority but as the 2016 census shows, religious diversity in Australia is changing.

Specifically, there has been a rise in the amount of people who identify as having no-religion with an additional 2.2 million ticking this box. In 2006 that category accounted for 19% of the population, in 2016 it was up to 30%.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

The muslim population has also grown from 1.7% in 2006 to 2.6% in 2016 meaning there are now 604,000 people who identify as muslim in Australia. In addition, the Census reports that 1,140 of the muslims in Australia are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.

Two famous Aboriginal muslims are Anthony Mundine who converted to Islam in 1999 and Canberra Raiders NRL player Aiden Sezar whose mother is an Indigenous Australian.

Mundine famously said in a 2012 interview with SBS“I’m three things that you shouldn’t be in this society, and that’s Muslim, Aboriginal and outspoken.”

Anthony Mundine
Anthony Mundine (Credit: Getty)

Global Muslim Population

A report by Pew Research claims there are 1.8 billion muslims in the world and that’s set to rise to around 3 billion by 2060.

In England there are currently 2,660,116 muslims which equates to 5.02% of the population and in the US, it’s 3.45million (1.1%).

According to the Turkish government, 99.8% of their country is muslim, But it’s Indonesia that is the country with the largest population of muslims in the world: approximately 225 million.

City Breakdown

If you’re muslim and live in Australia, the chances are you’re in Greater Sydney (42%) or Greater Melbourne (31%). If you live in Queensland, chances are you don’t have a muslim neighbour as only 0.95% live in the Sunshine State and even less abide in Tasmania (0.49%).

New South Wales has the largest population at 3.58% and Victoria is a close second at 3.32%. 

Sunni and Shia

Much like with Christianity there are many variations of Islamic faiths with the two most popular being the Sunni and Shia denominations.

Almost half of all Australian muslims claim Lebanese or Turkish ancestry and as Australia continues to grow, the muslim population will follow suit.

Related stories