Stats NZ has a new website.

For new releases go to

As we transition to our new site, you'll still find some Stats NZ information here on this archive site.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Religious affiliation


'Religious affiliation' is the self-identified association of a person with a religion, denomination or sub-denominational religious group.

A denomination is the church or religious sect that forms a subgroup of a religion. Denominations of a particular religion share the same principles, but differ from each other in aspects, such as the form of worship used and the way in which they are governed.

Relationship to questionnaire(s)

Data on religious affiliation comes from question 18 on the individual form (PDF 395kb).

Subject population

The subject population is the people, families, households or dwellings to whom the variable applies.

The subject population for this variable is the census usually resident population.

Non-response rate

The 2006 non-response rate was 6.2 percent.

The 2001 non-response rate was 5.7 percent.

The response 'object to answer' is not included in the non-response rate. In 2006, 6.0 percent of respondents selected 'object to answer'. This compares with 6.4 percent in 2001.

Quality Management Strategy priority level

Religious affiliation is a supplementary variable.

The Census Quality Management Strategy assigns a priority level to all census variables.

Supplementary variables do not fit directly in with the main purpose of a census, but are still of importance to certain groups. These variables have third priority in terms of effort and resources.

All data must meet minimum quality standards in order to make it suitable for use.

Comparability with 1996 and 2001 Census data

There are issues affecting the comparability of this data with 1996 and 2001 Census data:

  • Up to four responses were coded in 2001 and 2006, whereas, in 1996, only one response was coded. This makes it difficult to compare the 1996 and 2006 data, and the 1996 and 2001 data.
  • Minor changes were made to the questionnaire between 1996 and 2001:
    Ratana and Ringatū were added to the English language version of the question for 2001 and 2006.
  • Minor changes have been made to the order of categories.

Significant issues

There are no significant issues that users should be aware of.

Other things to be aware of

  • All census data was subject to considerable checks (including edits) during processing and evaluation, to ensure that it meets quality standards and is suitable for use. These checks were applied to data supplied both on paper and on Internet forms. In addition to these quality checks, the Internet form had built-in editing functionality that directed respondents to the appropriate questions and ensured that their responses were valid. As a result of this, data from Internet forms may be of higher overall quality than data from paper forms. The significance of this will depend on the particular type of analysis being done.
  • There were differences between how the forms were completed on the Internet and on paper for this variable:
    • On the Internet, it was only possible to give text responses if 'other Christian' and/or 'other religion' was marked. When forms were completed on paper, it was possible to give a text response but not mark the 'other' tick boxes.
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+