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Fewer Brits Christian

The BBC reports that, according to the results of last year’s census in the United Kingdom, a much smaller portion of the population considers itself Christian than a decade ago – the smallest since the Christianization of the British Isles. In 2001, 71.7 percent of people living in England and Wales described themselves as Christian. In 2011, only 59.3 percent called themselves Christian.

England Less ChristianThe same census reports that there are more Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and people of other religions living in England and Wales. Still, most of the decline in Christianity was due to the rise of people who identify themselves as having no religion at all, rising from 14 percent to 25.1 percent.

In absolute numbers, the number of Christians in England and Wales declined by four million, while the population in general rose by 7 percent. The number of people who described themselves as Jedi, followers of the religion of Star Wars, also declined, to 177,000.

The Archbishop of Canterbury reacted to the news by saying that the idea that the British people are turning away from Christianity is just “cliche”. Apparently, the Archbishop thinks that reality is cliche, too.

5 thoughts on “Fewer Brits Christian”

  1. Stephen Kent Gray says:

    You forgot Buddhists, there are more Buddhists too!

    1. Peregrin Wood says:

      I didn’t forget them, but they were so few in number compared to the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, I included them in the “people of other religions” phrase. I suppose, to be fair, I should have done that with the Jedis, too.

      1. Stephen Kent Gray says:

        I listed them a separate because the British Office of National Statisitcs listed them as seperate.—religion/index.html

        Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism referred to as the Big Six in Great Britain due to being the six statistically significant religions.

  2. Stephen Kent Gray says:—religion/index.html

    The map lists
    Other Religion
    No Religion
    Not Stated

    You can tell on the map where bluer means growth and less blue means decline in any of the above group. Purple is where there’s a strong presence.

  3. Stephen Kent Gray says:

    UK census 2011The UK government’s Office for National Statistics has released data for the 2011 census. The census data for Wales and the UK shows a surprisingly large influx of foreigners, especially from Poland. Among the various datasets, the religious make up of Wales and the UK continues to show a predictable transformation.

    Christianity, while by far the largest religious affiliation, continues to decline:

    The number of residents who stated that their religion was Christian in 2011 was fewer than in 2001. The size of this group decreased 13 percentage points to 59 per cent (33.2 million) in 2011 from 72 per cent (37.3 million) in 2001.

    In contrast, the Muslim population has been growing at an annual rate of 5.75% and reached a total of 2,706,066 – approaching 5% of the total population of UK and Wales.

    Also increasing are those who identify as ‘no religion’ or atheist. Only 29,267 self-identified as atheist but a much larger group had no religious affiliation:

    The size of the group who stated that they had no religious affiliation increased by 10 percentage points from 15 per cent (7.7 million) in 2001 to 25 per cent (14.1 million) in 2011.

    Adherents of the Baha’i Faith increased to 5,021 from 4,645 in the 2001 census. If my math is correct, that is an annual 0.78% growth per year. Put more simply, between 37-38 new Baha’is have been added per year since 2001. I’m not sure that you can call that ‘growth’ but it is slightly higher than the general population growth of 0.70% per year.

    UK census 2011 religions

    Within the ‘alternative religion’ category, the Baha’i Faith is eclipsed by two satirical entries: Jedi and Heavy Metal. Jedis are a fictional religious group within the Star Wars universe but they number in the hundreds of thousand. Heavy Metal (music) religion adherents were 6,242.

    This has me curious about what exactly does it me for heavy metal to be a religion!

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