Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 - Roy Morgan Research

The short answer is yes. Religious Australians (14+) donate an average 50% more to charity annually than do atheists or agnostics, the latest data from Roy Morgan Research shows.

The average Australian gave $288 to charity in the year to June 2014. Those who identify with a religion gave an average $331 each in the past year—over a $100 per person more than those who say they have no religion.

Among the religious, charitable giving surges by age 25-34 to an annual average of $333 per person, and continues to a peak of $409 among 35-49 year-olds before declining around $35/year at ages 50-64 and 65+.

The average amount given by the spiritually disinclined continues to increase with age, with those aged 65+ giving more on average than their religious contemporaries.

Average annual charity spend of religious and non-religious Australians by age group:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013 June 2014, sample =16,809 Australians 14+

Overall, religious Australians say they donated $4 billion to charity within the past year, while reported donations from the non-religious totalled almost $1.6 billion.

1 in 4 religious Australians say they didn’t give anything to charity in the past year, compared with 1 in 3 non-religious Australians.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“A comparison of the dollars donated does indeed suggest that religious people are more charitable than others. Across all age groups, Australians who cite a personal religion are more likely to have made a donation within the past year than those who say they have no religion. And, across all age groups except among the over 65s, religious donators also give more on average than non-religious donators.   

“As the number of Australians with no religious affiliation continues to rise, all charities—whether religious or not—must find ways to inspire genuinely altruistic donations outside religious giving structures.” 

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