Fewer than half of the population of England and Wales have described themselves as Christian for the first time, the 2021 census has revealed. The census question broadly asked "what is your religion" - referring to people's affiliation, rather than their beliefs or active religious practices.
People who said they had no religion increased by 12 percentage points. 37.2% of people – 22.2 million – declared they had “no religion”, the second most common response after Christian. It means that over the past 20 years the proportion of people reporting no religion has soared from 14.8%. The places with the highest numbers of people saying they had “no religion” were Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Rhondda Cynon Taf, all in south Wales, and Brighton and Hove and Norwich in England. They were among 11 areas where more than half of the population are not religious, including Bristol, Hastings and Ashfield in Nottinghamshire
The number of people identifying as Muslim increased by 1.2 million to 3.9 million.
Some 46.2% of the population said they were Christian - 27.5 million people, compared with 33.3 million in 2011, a drop by 13.1 percentage points from 59.2% in 2011.