Spiritual practices valued by Australians in times of crisis

2021 Australian Community Survey

In the 2021 Australian Community Survey, we asked Australians how important spiritual practices are in times of crisis, to support people's wellbeing, particularly in the context of the past two years, including bushfires and COVID-19.

Nearly seven in ten Australians say they think spiritual practices are important during crises. 

In practice, some 47% of Australians report drawing on spiritual practices in 2021, of which 15% did so more often than they did in 2020.  


Australians’ wellbeing in times of crisis

The personal wellbeing of Australians has been challenged by ongoing crises in the past few years, including bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 global pandemic. In the 2021 Australian Community Survey (2021 ACS) we investigated Australians' views on spirituality and its role in supporting a person's wellbeing during crisis.

A panel of Australians were asked the question "In the context of the past two years' crises (including bushfires and the global COVID-19 pandemic), how important do you think spiritual practices are to support people's wellbeing?"

Seven in ten Australians value spiritual practices as important in crisis 

Results from the 2021 ACS reveal that 69%, or nearly seven in ten Australians, see spiritual practices as important to support wellbeing in the context of crises. 

Of that, some 32% see it as fairly important and 37% rank its importance in even stronger measure. Only 17% of Australians view spiritual practices as not at all important in supporting a person's wellbeing during times of crisis.



Around half of all Australians drew on spiritual practices in 2021

Is the value placed on spiritual practices, also reflected in the use of those practices? Do Australians actually draw on spiritual practices in their daily lives?

In November 2021, we posed this question to a panel of Australians: "In 2021, have you personally drawn on any spiritual practices? If so, have you done this more often, less often or the same as in 2020?"

Results show that just under half of Australians (47%) say they drew on spiritual practices in 2021. Four in ten did so about the same or more than they did in 2020.



Which spiritual practices most appeal?

More information on the types of spiritual practices that most appeal to Australians can be found in our article 'Time in nature is the most preferred spiritual practice of Australians'.

Kathy Jacka
Data Sources:

2021 Australian Community Survey run by NCLS Research, November 2021 (n = 1,286).

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