Christians now a minority in England, Wales

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LONDON — Fewer than half of people in England and Wales identify as Christian, according to census data released on Tuesday, underlining a landmark shift towards secularism in multicultural Britain. اضافة اعلان

The findings from the 10-yearly census, carried out in 2021, showed rapid growth among the Muslim population. However, “no religion” was the second most common response after “Christian”, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Some 27.5 million people, or 46.2 percent in England and Wales, described themselves as Christian, down 13.1 percentage points from 2011.

“No religion” rose by 12 points to 37.2 percent or 22.2 million, while Muslims stood at 3.9 million or 6.5 percent of the population, up from 4.9 percent before.

The next most common responses were Hindu (1 million) and Sikh (524,000), while Buddhists overtook Jewish people (273,000 and 271,000 respectively).

The ONS has been releasing key sections from last year’s census piecemeal. The latest dealt with religion and ethnic identity.

Data for Scotland and Northern Ireland are released separately.

It found the number of people in England and Wales identifying their ethnic group as white had fallen by around 500,000 since 2011, from 86 percent to 81.7 percent.

The second most common ethnic group was “Asian” broadly, at 9.3 percent, up from 7.5 percent a decade ago.

Within that group, most respondents identified their family heritage as Indian, followed by Pakistani, “other Asian”, Bangladeshi, and Chinese.

The next largest ethnic group was the fast-growing African population, followed by Caribbean.

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