Mnemonic: religion
Applicability: Person
Type: Standard variable


The religion people connect or identify with (their religious affiliation), whether or not they practise or have belief in it.

This question was voluntary and the variable includes people who answered the question, including "No Religion", alongside those who chose not to answer this question.

This variable classifies responses into the eight tick-box response options. Write-in responses are classified by their "parent" religious affiliation, including "No Religion", where applicable.


Total number of categories: 58

Code Name
1 Christian
2 Buddhist
3 Hindu
4 Jewish
5 Muslim
6 Sikh
7 Other religion: Alevi
8 No religion: Agnostic
9 No religion: Atheist
10 No religion: Free Thinker
11 No religion: Humanist
12 No religion: No religion
13 No religion: Realist
14 Other religion: Animism
15 Other religion: Baha'i
16 Other religion: Believe in God
17 Other religion: Brahma Kumari
18 Other religion: Chinese Religion
19 Other religion: Church of All Religion
20 Other religion: Confucianist
21 Other religion: Deist
22 Other religion: Druid
23 Other religion: Druze
24 Other religion: Eckankar
25 Other religion: Heathen
26 Other religion: Jain
27 Other religion: Mixed Religion
28 Other religion: Mysticism
29 Other religion: Native American Church
30 Other religion: New Age
31 Other religion: Occult
32 Other religion: Other religions
33 Other religion: Own Belief System
34 Other religion: Pagan
35 Other religion: Pantheism
36 Other religion: Rastafarian
37 Other religion: Ravidassia
38 Other religion: Reconstructionist
39 Other religion: Satanism
40 Other religion: Scientology
41 Other religion: Shamanism
42 Other religion: Shintoism
43 Other religion: Spiritual
44 Other religion: Spiritualist
45 Other religion: Taoist
46 Other religion: Theism
47 Other religion: Thelemite
48 Other religion: Traditional African Religion
49 Other religion: Unification Church
50 Other religion: Universalist
51 Other religion: Valmiki
52 Other religion: Vodun
53 Other religion: Wicca
54 Other religion: Witchcraft
55 Other religion: Yazidi
56 Other religion: Zoroastrian
57 Not answered
-8 Does not apply*

*Students and schoolchildren living away during term-time.

View all religion (detailed) classifications.

Quality information

There are some quality issues in the data that may affect how you use the data.

Question asked

What is your religion?

  • No religion
  • Christian (including Church of England, Catholic, Protestant and all other Christian denominations)
  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Sikh
  • Any other religion, write in

The question and options that people could choose from were the same in Census 2021 and the 2011 Census.


Read about how we developed and tested the questions for Census 2021.

Why we ask the question

The answer helps communities by allowing local and central government to better plan services and set aside resources for their area.

The NHS and local authorities can use this information to help plan and monitor services for local people from a wide range of religious backgrounds. This could include policies on hospital chaplains and public information.

The answer will help public bodies to treat everyone fairly, in line with their legal duties about equality, and to identify discrimination or social exclusion based on religion and work to stop it from happening.

The census first asked this question in 2001.

Comparability with the 2011 Census

Broadly comparable

We have added the categories Other religion: Alevi, Other religion: Valmiki and Other religion: Yazidi to this derived variable.

The two categories No religion: Jedi Knight and No religion: Heavy Metal have been included in the parent No religion category.

What does broadly comparable mean?

A variable that is broadly comparable means that it can be generally compared with the same variable used in the 2011 Census. However, changes may have been made to the question or options that people could choose from or how write-in answers are classified.

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland comparisons

Not comparable

This variable is not comparable as the data is not available for all countries.

What does not comparable mean?

A variable that is not comparable means that it cannot be compared for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Find out more about variables produced for Census 2021 in Northern Ireland and Census 2022 in Scotland.

Census 2021 data that uses this variable

We use variables from Census 2021 data to show findings in different ways.

You can: