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The percentage of the population with no religion has increased in England and Wales

Despite falling numbers, Christianity remained the largest religion in 2011

In the 2011 Census for England and Wales, 59.3% of the usual resident population (33.2 million people) identified as Christian. Muslims made up the second largest religious group with 4.8% of the population (2.7 million people). A quarter of the population (14.1 million people) reported they had no religion.

Figure 1: Religious affiliation, England and Wales, 2011

Figure 1: Religious affiliation, England and Wales, 2011
Source: Office for National Statistics

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The Other main religious groups people identified with were: Hindu (1.5% of population); Sikh (0.8%); Jewish (0.5%) and Buddhist (0.4%). Some religions people identified with do not fall into any of the main religious groups1 (0.4%), such as Pagan and Spiritualist. Overall, 7.2% of people did not answer the question on religious affiliation, the only voluntary question in the 2011 Census.

Between 2001 and 2011 there was a decrease in the proportion of people who identify as Christian (from 71.7% to 59.3%) and an increase in those reporting no religion (from 14.8% to 25.1%). There were increases in the other main religious group categories, with the number of Muslims increasing the most (from 3.0% to 4.8%).

Figure 2: Religious affiliation, 2001-2011, England and Wales

Figure 2: Religious affiliation, 2001-2011, England and Wales
Source: Office for National Statistics

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In 2011, London was the most diverse region in terms of religious affiliation with the lowest proportion of people who identified with Christianity (just under half) and over a fifth of the population identifying with another religion. The North East and North West had the highest proportion of people who said they were Christian with two-thirds of the population. Wales had the highest proportion of people reporting no religion at nearly a third of the population. The region with the lowest proportion of people reporting no religion was the North West with less than a fifth of the population.

Knowsley was the local authority with the highest proportion of people reporting to be Christians at 80.9% and Tower Hamlets had the highest proportion of Muslims at 34.5% (over seven times the England and Wales figure). Norwich had the highest proportion of the population reporting no religion at 42.5%.

An interactive map is available for users to explore all religion groups further at the local authority level:

1 Some people selected the ‘Any Other Religion, write in’ box and specified their own religion. Note that in some cases these were reassigned to one of the main religions offered (e.g. within the Christian group) or to ‘No religion’

 

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Categories: Population, Population Estimates, Population Estimates by Age and Sex, People and Places, Households, Number of Households
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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