Why You Shouldn't Put 'Jedi' As Your Religion On The Census [Infographic]

Image: Lucasfilm

In the 2006 Australian Census, 58,053 people put "Jedi" down as their religion. In 2011, this number had jumped to 64,390. With Star Wars now more popular than ever thanks to the new movies, it is expected that the number of "practicing Jedis" will explode in this year's Census. It's a testament to Australia's larrikin sense of humour (not to mention our slavish devotion to US pop culture) -- but not everybody is amused. This infographic explains why you might want to reconsider the joke.

As with previous censuses, the 2016 Census contains an option to list your religion. You can choose from a list of common religions, select ‘No religion’ or nominate your own. The tradition of listing "Jedi" under religion is considered a fun, cheeky way to declare your Star Wars fandom. (Either that, or a disturbing number of Australians genuinely believe they are futuristic warrior monks with mystical powers.)

The Atheist Foundation of Australia is leading a campaign to get people to stop making this joke. The issue is that Jedi gets lumped in with all the other "Not Defined" religions in the Census, which means it officially counts towards the total. This artificially inflates the number of religious Australians in the Census results.

Data from this question is used to fund everything from community support facilities to public policy and city planning. In other words, in can have a real effect on how decision makers run the country and gives added clout to religious lobby groups.

The infographic below provides further information. Bear in mind that we don't necessarily agree with the Atheist Foundation's stance which is bordering on alarmist. But we do think it's important for the Census to accurately reflects our country's genuine religions.

For more important Census news, head to our guide.

[Via Gizmodo]

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Comments

    "Alarmist" is right. A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation can show that 64000 people marking "Jedi" as their religion make Australia appear about 0.2% more religious than it is.

      And that's assuming 100% of those are actually atheist.

    "joke religion" So what classes a normal religion? Because a lot of the "normal" religions are more of a joke than being a Jedi.

    Last edited 02/08/16 4:28 pm

    they know the exact figure of how many people choose Jedi per year, but its too hard not to class that data as a religion? What else do they get wrong?

      You're saying you want to grant the government the right to decide what is and isn't a real religion?

    they will be getting a lot of "none of your damn business" answers this census from me

    Can we put

    "David W. Kalisch is a wanker"

    (according to http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/247F0127852AB4ABCA257FF70080BDC7?OpenDocument he is the one that spearheaded this latest stupid census change most people hate)

    so marking my religion as 'jedi' will funnel funding into jedi-related endeavours in the community?

    But what if I'm a strong beliver in the Government funding relisgious schools?
    I really want to have my children abducted to attend send my younglings to a Jedi Academy, but the government is too busy funding the Exclusive Bretheren to fund Jedi's

    Last edited 03/08/16 12:46 pm

    Doesn't matter.
    What a load of rubbish.

    Choose Jedi, choose Spagetti Monster... Whatever you choose has nothing to do with the country's future.

    Aren't they ancient warrior monks rather than futuristic ones? "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away" and all that.

    What if you do have a religion but you simply don't want to enter it.

    JEDI it is!!!

    So does this mean, that if enough people put down Jedi, that the government will start building Jedi temples where the concentrations are high enough?

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