NCLS Research

Size of Churches

NCLS Research has been mapping the size of Australian churches since 1991. Here are findings on the size of denominations, as well as the number and average size of congregations.

NCLS Research can also shed some light on the difference size makes to church vitality and effectiveness.

Fast Facts

  • Some 19% of Australians claim to attend church at least monthly (Well-being 2003).
  • About 1.7 million people (9%) attend a Catholic, Anglican and Protestant church in a typical week(NCLS 2001).
  • The Catholic Church is the largest denomination with around half of all church attenders, followed by the Anglican Church with 12% (NCLS 2001).
  • The average size of a congregation in Australia is between 60-70 people (NCLS 2001).

NCLS Research Findings on the Size of Churches

Showing 1-7 (of 7)
Census vs Attendance (2001) (Research Article)
What proportion of people who identify with a Christian denomination attend church frequently?
Church Attendance as a Percentage of the Australian Population
How large are the churches? Based on the 1991 and 1996 NCLS, this excerpt is from 'Build My Church.
How many people go to church in Australia and what is the size of each denomination?
Source: Shaping a Future p. 190 ff. (Kaldor et al, 1997)How much impact does context have on a…
This paper presents estimates of size and patterns of growth/decline from the 2001 NCLS
Source: Shaping a Future p. 233 ff (Kaldor et al, 1997)This research also points to some aspects of…

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