Christians now minority in England, as Muslims, Hindus, non-religious populations grow, census shows

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, a top Church of England cleric, said he was unsurprised by the census data.

Updated: November 29, 2022 - 3:11pm

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Christians are now a minority in England and Wales, while Muslim, Hindu and non-religious populations grow, according to census data released Tuesday. 

About 46% of people in England and Wales said they were Christians in 2021, marking the first time a minority of residents have followed the official state religion, the Associated Press reported. Christians made up 59% of the population in 2011. 

The Muslim population grew from 4.9% in 2011, to 6.5%, while people who identified as Hindu increased from 1.5% to 1.7%. Similarly, those who said they were Sikh increased from 0.8% to 0.9%, and Buddhists also grew 0.1% to 0.5% in 2021, Census data shows.

The only religious group to remain stable over the decade was the 0.5% of people who identified as Jewish.

Meanwhile, 37% of people said they did not have a religion, up from 25% a decade ago. 

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, a top Church of England cleric, said he was unsurprised by the census data. 

"We have left behind the era when many people almost automatically identified as Christian, but other surveys consistently show how the same people still seek spiritual truth and wisdom and a set of values to live by," he said, according to the wire service.

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