Census 2011 results
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<p><a href=”http://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/census-2011/census-2011-results/”>2011 Census Results on Religion – The BHA</a></p>
Details & Commentary
Census results just published show a plunge in the number of people ticking ‘Christian’ in England and Wales from 72% in 2001 to 59% in 2011 and an increase in the number of people ticking to say they have no religion from 15% in 2001 to 25% in 2011.
This represents a 67% relative rise in the number saying ‘no religion’.
BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘This is a really significant cultural shift. In spite of a biased question that positively encourages religious responses, to see such an increase in the non-religious and such a decrease in those reporting themselves as Christian is astounding. Of course these figures still exaggerate the number of Christians overall – the number of believing, practicing Christians is much lower than this and the number of those leading their lives with no reference to religion much higher.
‘Religious practice, identity, belonging and belief are all in decline in this country, and non-religious identities are on the rise. It is time that public policy caught up with this mass turning away from religious identities and stopped privileging religious bodies with ever increasing numbers of state-funded religious schools and other faith-based initiatives. They are decreasingly relevant to British life and identity and governments should catch up and accept that fact.’
Ahead of the 2011 Census the BHA organised the large scale public information campaign ‘The Census Campaign’, with the slogan ‘If you’re not religious for God’s sake say so!’, to encourage the non-religious to tick the ‘No religion’ box on the Census and try to reduce the exaggeration in the Census figures due to the leading nature of the question.
From the ONS:
Despite falling numbers Christianity remains the largest religion in England and Wales in 2011. Muslims are the next biggest religious group and have grown in the last decade. Meanwhile the proportion of the population who reported they have no religion has now reached a quarter of the population.
- In the 2011 Census, Christianity was the largest religion, with 33.2 million people (59.3 per cent of the population). The second largest religious group were Muslims with 2.7 million people (4.8 per cent of the population).
- 14.1 million people, around a quarter of the population in England and Wales, reported they have no religion in 2011.
- The religion question was the only voluntary question on the 2011 census and 7.2 per cent of people did not answer the question.
- Between 2001 and 2011 there has been a decrease in people who identify as Christian (from 71.7 per cent to 59.3 per cent) and an increase in those reporting no religion (from 14.8 per cent to 25.1 per cent). There were increases in the other main religious group categories, with the number of Muslims increasing the most (from 3.0 per cent to 4.8 per cent).
- In 2011, London was the most diverse region with the highest proportion of people identifying themselves as Muslim, Bhuddist, Hindu and Jewish. The North East and North West had the highest proportion of Christians and Wales had the highest proportion of people reporting no religion.
- Knowsley was the local authority with the highest proportion of people reporting to be Christians at 80.9 per cent and Tower Hamlets had the highest proportion of Muslims at 34.5 per cent (over 7 times the England and Wales figure). Norwich had the highest proportion of the population reporting no religion at 42.5 per cent.
With thanks to Neo Mammalian Studios for the Infographic Design