|440,300 (2016) |
1.90% of the Australian Population
|Regions with significant populations|
|Sydney · Canberra · Melbourne · Adelaide · Perth · Brisbane|
|English, Indian Languages, Mauritian Creole|
Hinduism is a major religion in Australia consisting of more than 440,300 followers, making up 1.9% of the population as of the 2016 census, up from 275,000 individuals representing 1.3% of the total Australian population according to the 2011 census (up from 148,119 in the 2006 census). Hinduism is one of the fastest growing religions in Australia mostly through immigration. Hinduism is also one of the most youthful religions in Australia, with 34% and 66% of Hindus being under the age of 14 and 34 respectively.
In the 19th century, the British first brought Hindus from India to Australia to work on cotton and sugar plantations. Many remained as small businessmen, working as camel drivers, merchants and hawkers, selling goods between small rural communities. These days Hindus are well educated professionals in fields such as medicine, engineering, commerce and information technology, constituting a model minority. The Hindus in Australia are mostly of Indian, Sri Lankan, Fijian, Malaysia, Singapore, Nepali, and Bangladesh origin, with some originating from other parts of the Indian subcontinent including Sindh.
The majority of Australian Hindus live along the Eastern Coast of Australia and are mainly located in the cities of Melbourne and Sydney. According to the 2016 census, the Hindu population numbered 440,310 individuals, of whom 39% lived in Greater Sydney, 29% in Greater Melbourne, and 8% each in Greater Brisbane and Greater Perth. The states and territories with the highest proportion of Hindus are the Australian Capital Territory (2.57%) and New South Wales (2.43%), whereas those with the lowest are Queensland (0.98%) and Tasmania (0.50%). As a community Hindus live relatively peacefully and in harmony with the local populations. They have established a number of temples and other religious meeting places and celebrate most Hindu festivals.
The following dates briefly outline the arrival of Hinduism.
Data from the 2011 Census showed that all states(and A.C.T and the Northern Territory) apart from New South Wales had their Hindu population double from the 2006 census. New South Wales has had the largest number of Hindus since at least 2001.
|State/Territory||Population 2016 Census||Percentage 2016 Census||Population 2011 Census||Percentage 2011 Census||2011-2016 Growth||Reference|
|New South Wales||181,402||2.4%||119,843||1.7%||+61,559|||
|Australian Capital Territory||10,211||2.6%||6,053||1.7%||+4,158|||
|State/Territory||Population 2011 Census||Percentage 2011 Census||Population 2006 Census||Percentage 2006 Census||2006-2011 Growth||Reference|
|New South Wales||119,843||1.7%||73,717||1.1%||+46,126|||
|Australian Capital Territory||6,053||1.7%||3,289||1.0%||+2,764|||
According to the 2006 Census, 44.16% of all Australians who were born in India were Hindu, so were 47.20% of those born in Fiji, 1.84% born in Indonesia, 3.42% from Malaysia, and 18.61% from Sri Lanka.
Many local Australians are interested in learning Hinduism. Hinduism is also more popular among the Anglo-Australians. Many Caucasians in Australia also visit the Hindu temple at Carrum Downs (Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple) and learn Vedic Hindu scriptures in Tamil.The ISKCON Hindu community in Australia has 60,000 members - 70% of whom are Hindus from overseas, with the other 30% being Anglo Australians. The 2016 Census noted 415 Hindus belonging to the indegenous community of Australia (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people).
Less than 17% of the Australian Hindus use English as their home language. The number of Australian Hindus speaking various languages in their home according to the 2006 census:
Sri Venkateswara Temple (SVT), Helensburgh, New South Wales
Main Gopuram of the Sri Venkateswara Temple (SVT), Helensburgh, New South Wales
Lord Shiva Temple, Perth
Byrnes, J 2007,'Hinduism', Religion and Ethics <http://www.abc.net.au/religion/stories/s790133.htm> https://web.archive.org/web/20140812214434/http://www.theindiansun.com.au/top-story/australias-oldest-hindu-temple-readies-janmasthami/