For the first time fewer than half of people in England and Wales describe themselves as Christian, the Census 2021 has revealed.
The proportion of people who said they were Christian was 46.2%, down from 59.3% in the last census in 2011.
In contrast the number who said they had no religion increased to 37.2% of the population, up from a quarter.
Those identifying as Muslim rose from 4.9% in 2011 to 6.5% last year.
People were also asked about their ethnic group and national identity – the responses of which were released in the results just published.
The census is carried out every 10 years by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
People were asked the broad question what their religion was rather than being asked more specifically about their beliefs or religious practices, in the voluntary question included in the census since 2001.
Ticking “no religion” does not mean having no beliefs, says Prof Linda Woodhead, from King’s College London.
“Some will be atheist, a lot will…
This article was written by and originally published on www.bbc.co.uk