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Less Than Half of England, Wales is Christian for First Time in Census History

The prevalence of Christianity is declining in England and Wales, according to the latest census data from the U.K. Office for National Statistics. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
The prevalence of Christianity is declining in England and Wales, according to the latest census data from the U.K. Office for National Statistics. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI

The prevalence of Christianity is declining in England and Wales, according to the latest census data from Britain’s Office for National Statistics.

Religious identification is an optional part of the survey that about 94% of respondents answered in the 2021 survey, up from about 93% in 2011. Among those, about 46% or 27.5 million people described themselves as Christians. It is the first time a census has reflected less than half of the populations of England and Wales being Christian.

No single religion surpassed Christianity in the survey. The second most common response to the question was “no religion,” which accounted for about 37% of answers or 22.2 million people. This represents an increase of 12% over 2011 figures, when about 14 million people said they subscribed to no religion.

Linda Woodhead, a professor from King’s College London, said selecting “no religion” does not mean a person does not have a belief system.

“Some will be atheist, a lot will be agnostic — they just say, ‘I don’t really know’ — and some will be spiritual and be doing spiritual things,” she said to BBC.

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