Irreligious Australia and loneliness

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According to David Baker of the Australia Instritute 3 out of 10 Australians have experienced loneliness in the last 10 years.[1]

Compared to deeply religious cultures where an extended family and a sense of community often exists, secular countries are often lonelier societies.

After WWII, Australia has become a very secular country.[2] See also: Irreligion in Australia

According to the Sydney Morning Herald:

Australia is one of the least devout countries in the Western world, although two-thirds of its population identifies itself as Christian, an international survey comparing religious expression in 21 countries has found.

Religion does not play a central part in the lives of many Australians: 48 per cent of Australians surveyed said they did not partake in personal prayer and 52 per cent said they rarely attended a place of worship for religious reasons.[3]

In the 2011 Australian census, 22.3% of Australians (or 4,796,787 people) identified themselves as having "no religion" which was more than 3 percent higher (and 1,090,232 people more) than in the 2006 census and was the second largest category.[4] Another 2.014 million (9.4%) were in the "not-stated or inadequately-defined" category: thus more than 31% of Australians did not state a religious affiliation in the 2011 census.[5]

Australia and loneliness

The Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2015:

About one third of Australians suffer from the sorrow of loneliness.

The deep ache of loneliness doesn't just affect us emotionally.

It has a very real impact on our physical health.

So much so that a new study of three million people has found that loneliness is as much of a threat to longevity as obesity.[6]

In 2012, the Sydney Morning Herald declared:

Yet, with almost a quarter of Australians living alone it is all too easy to live a lonely life.

This study last year found 35 per cent of Australian men and 29 per cent of Australian women report that loneliness is a serious problem for them.[7]

In 2012, the Sydney Morning Herald also reported that "Many Australians are profoundly lonely and continue to be so for long periods of time."[8] According to David Baker of the Australia Institute, 3 out of 10 Australians have experienced loneliness in the last 10 years.[9]

See also