Australian census shows falling Catholic population

Australian census shows falling Catholic population

Catholic World News – June 27, 2017

Australia’s Catholic population is falling, and the number of those who claim “no religion” is now the country’s largest bloc, according to the latest census figures.

In the 2016 census, 29.6% of all Australians described themselves as having “no religion.” That number is nearly double the figure for 2001 (16%), and dwarfs the tiny 0.8% first recorded in 1966.

Over the same span of time, since 1966, the Christian proportion of the country’s population has saffed [sic] from 88% to 52%.

Until the current census, Catholics had comprised the largest single religious group in Australia, having taken that status from Anglicans in the early 1980s. But having stood between 26 and 28% for nearly 50 years, the Catholic proportion of the country’s population is now dropping toward 20%.

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One comment on “Australian census shows falling Catholic population

  1. Catholic World News says:

    Over the same span of time, since 1966, the Christian proportion of the country’s population has saffed from 88% to 52%.

    What does “saffed” mean?

    In the context of the item it appears to mean “fallen.” I can find no such definition in any English-language dictionary, including an Australian usage. The word does not appear in the referenced article, which is from the British (not Australian) Guardian. Thus, in the sense of “fallen,” it is something specially coined (for the occasion?) by Catholic World News.

    The Urban Dictionary has two unrelated entries for the present tense of the verb, both acronyms (saff and saf), because the “f” could or could not be in the past tense:

    “Saff” (not related to “falling”): Acronym meaning the state of mind that goes along with wearing shorts and flip flops (i.e. acronym is for Shorts And Flip Flops). It’s a state of happiness, of being free, a relaxed state of mind. One in which you walk slowly because you’re in no rush to get anywhere, and the air around you is comfortable. It is completely understandable for one’s goal in life to be saffing for as high a percentage of time as possible.

    “Saf” (could be related to “falling” in a distant sense, but I do not think that out of a sense of morality and propriety, Catholic World News would use such language): Slang for “Stoned as F—.”

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