Data for the 2011 Australian census is coming out on Thursday, and I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve. I can’t wait to see what percentage of people listed themselves as ‘No Religion’.
Why do I care? Am I insecure in my atheism, and I need backup to feel validated? Not really; it’s just that we’re on the brink of a moment in history here. More and more of us are coming out as ‘not religious’, and it’s cool to see it grow. Sure, Thursday’s data dump gives us more numbers to crunch, but the numbers represent the stories of people who have walked away from religion (and in some cases but not all, gods and supernaturalism). This weakens the hold of religion in our society, and provides an ever-larger pool of people that could be turned on to skepticism, humanism, and other positive values.
So what should we expect the numbers to do for 2011? I grabbed the “no religion” numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics website, and did some plotting.