Story: Religion and society

Religious adherence, 1878–2013

Move the mouse over the lines on the graph to see the percentage of adherents to a particular religion. Click on a religion in the key to remove that line from the graph; click on the religion again to restore it.

This graph shows the percentage of the New Zealand population who claimed adherence to the major Christian denominations at each census. Until the 1960s there was remarkably little change in the proportions, but since 1966 there has been major change. While the Catholic Church has largely held onto its membership, there has been a striking fall in membership of the Protestant churches, especially Anglicans and Presbyterians. Even more striking is the huge increase in the proportion of New Zealanders who say they have no religion. Close to half of the respondents (42%) gave this answer to the census question in 2013.

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How to cite this page:

John Stenhouse, 'Religion and society - Towards secularism and religious diversity, 1970–21st century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 May 2022)

Story by John Stenhouse, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 Apr 2018