Counting Jedis, Pagans, and those with no religion too
8 September 2016
Marxists, Maoists, Jedis, and Pagans will be able to see how many other people in New Zealand identify with their
religious, philosophical, or spiritual beliefs. This is if Statistics NZ goes ahead with its proposal to refresh the
standard classification of religious affiliation.
"We are consulting on the way we classify the responses from our surveys. By refreshing classifications like religious
affiliation, we’re aiming to make it easier to collect and release information that accurately reflects contemporary New
Zealand society,” standards and design senior manager Tony Breen said.
“The changes we’re proposing reflect the range of responses we get from the census every five years. While it’s not our
role to decide what is, or is not a religious affiliation or denomination, it is our role to collect robust, independent
data that can be used effectively within New Zealand.
“By broadening the range of religious affiliations, denominations, and groupings that we can report on, Statistics NZ is
aiming to add value to the data about people’s religious, philosophical, and spiritual beliefs.”
The consultation also proposes expanding the sub-categories that sit under some of the broader religious affiliations,
such as Judaism and Islam.
If the proposal goes ahead, Statistics NZ will review the classification regularly so that it better reflects the
changes in society.
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 8 September 2016
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