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Buddhism and Islam among fastest growing religions in the Northern Territory.

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Buddhism and Islam among Fastest Growing Religions in the Northern Territory

MPS 63g/2003

Buddhism and Islam are among the fastest growing religions in the Northern Territory the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Philip Ruddock announced today.

Mr Ruddock said the non-Christian religions of Buddhism and Islam grew in the Northern Territory by 74 per cent (1,508 to 2,619 people) and 24 per cent (761 to 940 people) respectively between the 1996 and 2001 Census.

Mr Ruddock was launching the publication The People of Australia, prepared by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs in close consultation with the states and territories, at Parliament House today.

'The information contained in this publication is of great benefit to local councils, ethnic communities and those planning the delivery of services such as education and health care to emerging communities,' he said.

The publication The People of Australia contains statistics on religion, birthplace and language for every one of the more than 600 Local Government Areas in Australia.

'The publication provides essential information for the point of view of targeting and delivering culturally appropriate services,' Mr Ruddock said.

'The publication also contains important statistics about where migrants are choosing to settle in the Northern Territory.

'For example, Darwin LGA has the highest proportion of overseas born residents and has attracted the greatest number of recent arrivals from overseas - around 1,500 people from non-English speaking countries between the 1996 and 2001 Census.

'The Northern Territories emerging communities are also identified.

'Between the 1996 and 2001 Census there has been growth in the number of people from the USA and South Africa of 21 per cent (1,004 to 1,218 people) and 64 per cent (195 to 320 people) respectively.

'The publication tells us which Local Government areas have the highest number of poor English speakers and it also tells us their various age and ethnic profiles,' Mr Ruddock said.

The People of Australia and the series of State and Territory specific publications use data from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing to provide a detailed demographic profile of Australia. The publications are also available on CD.

10 September 2003

Media contact: Steve Ingram, 0419 278 715