Sunday, 5 February 2023

Secular News - UK Now a Majority Non-Christian Country

Secular News

UK Now a Majority Non-Christian Country

Religion, England and Wales - Office for National Statistics

For the first time in a census of England and Wales, less than half of the population (46.2%, 27.5 million people) described themselves as “Christian”, a 13.1 percentage point decrease from 59.3% (33.3 million) in 2011; despite this decrease, “Christian” remained the most common response to the religion question.

Pie chart of major religions UK 2021
The main England & Wales religious demographics
Source: ONS
Figures released recently by the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that in the 2021 census, in answer to a voluntary question, less than half (46.2%) of the 56.0 million people who answered (94%) self-identified as 'Christian'. This represents a 13.1 percentage point decrease from the figure for 2011 for the same voluntary question.

The second most common answer was 'no religion', up by 12 percentage points from 25.2% (2011) to 37.2%.

Chart showing change in percentage of main religion in UK between 2001 and 2021
Percentage change since 2001
Source: ONS
In 2001, the figures were 'Christian', 71.7% and 'No religion', 14.8%.

Projecting these trends forward, the UK is on course to be a majority 'No religion' state by 2031 with 'Christians' forming less than one in three of the population. 'No religion should become the largest single demographic by about 2023, so that point may already have been reached.

Chart showing trends projected forward to 2031
Current trends projected forward to 2031
Source: ONS
That latter position has already been achieved in Wales, where 'Christian' fell by 14 percentage points from 57.6% (2011) to 43.6 and 'No religion' increased by 14.5% from 32.1% to 46.5%, making 'No religion' the largest demographic in Wales.

Since there was no attempt in the census to relate 'Religion' to belief in a deity or deities, these figures need to be treated with caution as a measure of religious belief. Other polls have shown that terms such as 'Christian', 'Muslim', 'Jewish', etc have been increasingly uses as labels of cultural identity as the UK has become increasingly multicultural. Indeed, a Pew Research survey in 2018 found that 18% of self-identified European 'Christians' don't believe in any god and 24% don't believe in the god of the Christian Bible.

Despite regional variation, these trends were common to all English and Welsh regions. The following interactive chart allows the data to be viewed on a zoomable map down to UK census output area:

With the UK on course to be a majority non-religious nation within a few years, and Christianity rapidly becoming minority cults, it is now time to disestablish the Church of England and remove the disgracefully undemocratic inclusion of Anglican bishops in the unelected upper chamber of parliament.

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