Australia has a national census every five years, it has shown a steady and accelerating increase in the number of people reporting no religious belief. For instance those reporting no religion increased from 19 per cent in 2006 to 30 per cent in 2016. For more see an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report here
Humanists have contributes strongly to efforts over the years to change the wording of the “religion” question to ensure its wording is as much open to the non religious as the religious. One of teh most recent of these wording changes has been to place the “no religion” response option for the question first, consistent with others on the Census such as ‘What is the person’s marital status?’ where ‘Never married’ is the first response option.
The wording of the religion question in the last Census included ‘HUMANISM’ among the examples of ‘Other’ religions, in the question pointers: it had “Examples of ‘Other’: LUTHERAN, SALVATION ARMY, JUDAISM, TAOISM, HUMANISM”
For most Humanists Humanism is an alternative to religion, not a subset of religion ! We are keen to make clear that Humanism is a belief system in its own right, and offer people the opportunity to choose Humanism as their belief system in the Census. Accordingly a submission was made by Lyndon Storey (CAHS President) asking the ABS to remove Humanism from the list of other religions and to develop a question which canvassed people’s non religious guiding beliefs, such as Humanism. An extract from his submission is attached here.