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Southland region has highest proportion of Christians

Southland region has highest proportion of Christians

4 February 2014

Latest results from the 2013 Census show that Southland has the highest proportion of Christians in the country, while having the largest growth in the proportion of people with no religion. The region also follows national trends with a declining number of smokers.

2013 Census regional summary tables – part 2, released today, gives an interesting impression of the Southland region and its districts.

“For instance, 51.9 percent of Southlanders identified themselves as Christian in last year’s census, down from 60.5 percent in 2006. Nationwide, 47.7 percent of people affiliated with a Christian religion, down from 54.2 percent in 2006,” Census General Manager Sarah Minson said.

While the region had the highest proportion of Christians overall, the total number of Southlanders who identify with a Christian religion decreased 13.1 percent since 2006.

Southland also saw the largest increase in the proportion of people with no religion, at 42.9 percent, up from 32.9 percent in 2006.

The region followed national trends with a drop in the number of people who regularly smoke. The proportion of regular smokers in the adult population fell from 24.3 percent in 2006 to 19.2 percent last year – a decrease of 3,000 people.

Among people aged 15–19 years the proportion of regular smokers fell from 26.2 percent in 2006 to 16.2 percent last year. That’s a 43.0 percent drop in the total number of smokers in this age group in Southland, or 660 fewer young people lighting up.

“This local breakdown of census information is some of the most important, as it will help communities and service providers plan for the future,” Ms Minson said. “Providers of local services such as health, education, community, and recreational facilities can use census data to form a picture of the region and what it needs to succeed.”

2013 Census regional summary tables – part 2 has more information on topics such as religion, relationship status, occupation, and smoking.


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