Australia’s 2011 census shows that Australia’s official Jewish population has risen to almost 100,000, a rise of 10 percent in five years.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics lists the Jewish population at 97,335 – 0.5 percent of Australia’s 22.5 million person population.

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Jewish demographers, however, believe the number may be several thousand larger, due to potential inaccuracies caused by the optional nature of the religion question – which does not list Judaism as an option but rather lumps it into the “Other” category – as well as their belief that Holocaust survivors may be less inclined to volunteer information about their Jewishness.

Hebrew University demography scholar Professor Sergio DellaPergola listed Australia’s Jewish population as just over 107,000 in 2010, and ranked Australia as the ninth largest Jewish community in the world, behind Israel, the United States, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Russia, Argentina, and Germany.

More than 60 percent of Australians identify as Christian and more than 20 percent said they were not a part of any religion.  Hinduism is the nation’s largest growing religion, with Islam coming in second with over 475,000 followers.

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Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.