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29 November 2022

The rise of non-religious Britain

Only a minority of people in England and Wales now identify as Christian.

By Giacomo Boscaini-Gilroy

The number of people identifying with no religion has surged to 37 per cent in the past decade in England and Wales, according to census data published today (29 November) by the Office for National Statistics. This marks an increase of 12 points from the 25 per cent of people who identified with no religion in the previous census in 2011.

Christians made up 46 per cent of the population in 2021, down from 59 per cent in 2011, a 13-point drop that accounts for the entire increase in people with no religion. Religious minorities grew in size, but to a much smaller degree, from 9 per cent to 11 per cent.

Followers of Shamanism grew in size from 650 to 8,000 people, the largest percentage increase of all religions. But they are still fewer than those who identify as Pagan (74,000) and Wicca (13,000).

London is the least secular region, with only 27 per cent saying they have no religion at all, compared with 47 per cent in Wales, higher than any of the English regions.

[See also: The invention of God]

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