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So, in the category of ‘problems no one anticipated’: it’s possible that the significant number of Australians marking their religious affiliations as ‘Jedi’ on their census could have real consequences for federal spending. Bet you’re kicking yourself for not using that one in May, huh?

In Australia’s 2006 census, 58,053 people marked themselves as Jedi. In 2011, the number of Jedi rose to 64,390. Spotting the trend, people are understandably worried about the upcoming August 9th census (especially since a Star Wars movie has come out in the past year, whereas in 2011, it had been 6 years since the last one). One group in particular stands to lose if there’s more growth in the publicly-declared Jedi population.

The Atheist Foundation of Australia is encouraging people to resist the temptation to identify as Jedi because it makes Australia look more religious than it actually is. When you write in Jedi as your religion, the census counts it as ‘not defined’ rather than ‘no religion.’ The AFA believes that if a disproportionate amount of the population is categorized as following a ‘not defined’ religion, tax dollars will be concentrated on religious groups and organizations rather than in a way that reflects the real religious affiliations of the population.

A little joke like pretending to be a Jedi could apparently have an impact on federal public planning. Interesting.

So how many Canadians do you think identified as Jedi in our census?

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