2 July 2014

How Many Clergy Families Are There In Australia?

I got to thinking 'how many pastor's families there are in Australia?' There is little, collective data available to the public, short of National Surveys by the ABS, So using the methodology of an article I read recently (Preacher's Kids are the Worst: Results of a survey among Dutch clergy children) and relevant Australian Beauru of Statistics data from 1994 (click here to see the article), I've done some rough maths (as a snapshot in time):

As 1994 was the most recent data I could find relating to clergy I have used their details. In 1994, there were a total of 12,283 ministers of Christian religion. Subtracting religions that have celibate ministers (Catholic and Orthodox) that leaves us with 10,118.
Let's assume based on anecdotal evidence 20% of ministers are unmarried:
  • 10,118 ministers - 20% (2,023) = 8,094 married clergy couples.    
  • So this means there are 8,094 clergy spouses. 
  • The average amount of children per Australian family in 1994 was 2.6.
  • Therefore there were approximately 21,045 clergy children.
Remembering that the Australian population has grown over the past 20 years, I imagine this number has changed, up or down I wonder?!

So this means there is approximately 30,000 people in 1994 who have lived in the paid clergy ministry household in Australia - and very little information about what their life is like as part of their parent/spouse's ministry.

I'm looking forward to doing more recent statistical analysis when data becomes available.

Food for thought.
~Rachel