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Religion (detailed)

Summary

This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify usual residents in England and Wales by religion. The estimates are as at Census Day, 21 March 2021.

Variable and dataset information

Area type

Census 2021 statistics are published for a number of different geographies. These can be large, for example the whole of England, or small, for example an output area (OA), the lowest level of geography for which statistics are produced.

For higher levels of geography, more detailed statistics can be produced. When a lower level of geography is used, such as output areas (which have a minimum of 100 persons), the statistics produced have less detail. This is to protect the confidentiality of people and ensure that individuals or their characteristics cannot be identified.

Lower Tier Local Authorities

Lower tier local authorities provide a range of local services. In England there are 309 lower tier local authorities. These are made up of non-metropolitan districts (181), unitary authorities (59), metropolitan districts (36) and London boroughs (33, including City of London). In Wales there are 22 local authorities made up of 22 unitary authorities. Of these local authority types, only non-metropolitan districts are not additionally classified as upper tier local authorities.

Coverage

Census 2021 statistics are published for the whole of England and Wales. However, you can choose to filter areas by:

  • country - for example, Wales
  • region - for example, London
  • local authority - for example, Cornwall
  • health area – for example, Clinical Commissioning Group
  • statistical area - for example, MSOA or LSOA

Religion (detailed)

The religion people connect or identify with (their religious affiliation), whether or not they practice 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.

Variables

Area type
Lower Tier Local Authorities
Coverage
England and Wales
Religion (detailed)
58 Categories
  • Christian
  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Other religion: Mysticism
  • Other religion: Native American Church
  • Other religion: New Age
  • Other religion: Zoroastrian
  • Religion not stated
  • Does not apply
Show all 58 categories

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Protecting personal data

Sometimes we need to make changes to data if it is possible to identify individuals. This is known as statistical disclosure control.

In Census 2021, we:

  • swapped records (targeted record swapping), for example, if a household was likely to be identified in datasets because it has unusual characteristics, we swapped the record with a similar one from a nearby small area (very unusual households could be swapped with one in a nearby local authority)
  • added small changes to some counts (cell key perturbation), for example, we might change a count of four to a three or a five – this might make small differences between tables depending on how the data are broken down when we applied perturbation

Read more in Section 5 of our article Design for Census 2021.

Version history

Release date Reason for update
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