Census 2011 – the Religion Question

So the results are available and already making news. Well, some of it is making news. In the spirit of Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics, let me lay out the actual figures for religion, taken from the ONS. For England and Wales, of course… sorry, the rest of the disunited kingdom, your voice is not heard here.

Persons in England and Wales 56075912
Christian 33243175
Buddhist 247743
Hindu 816633
Jewish 263346
Muslim 2706066
Sikh 423158
Animist 541
Baha’i 5021
Believe in God 2969
Brahma Kumari 442
Chinese Religion 182
Church of All Religion 408
Confucianist 124
Deist 1199
Druid 4189
Druze 515
Eckankar 379
Heathen 1958
Jain 20288
Mixed Religion 23566
Mysticism 204
Native American Church 127
New Age 698
Occult 502
Own Belief System 1949
Pagan 56620
Pantheism 2216
Rastafarian 7906
Ravidassia 11058
Reconstructionist 251
Satanism 1893
Scientology 2418
Shamanism 650
Shintoism 1075
Spiritual 13832
Spiritualist 39061
Taoist 4144
Theism 830
Thelemite 184
Traditional African Religion 588
Unification Church 452
Universalist 923
Vodun 208
Wicca 11766
Witchcraft 1276
Zoroastrian 4105

I’ve not listed those who did not declare a religious affiliation such as atheists, humanists and jedi (hmm, discuss…).

The consensus amongst the pagan folk on Facebook suggests the pagan return is a cumulative 80,000 or so. It would appear the pagan-dash initiative may not have been differentiated as yet, so that for example all the pagan-druid folk slipped into the pagan box rather than the druid box. Although, as one Twitter friend commented, there appears to have been at least one druid in every area in England and Wales… I would make one further comment…

The Census 2011 religion question

The census return was one form per household. The form was to be completed by the ‘head of household’ which could provide fuel for a massive argument in many a household but… how was the count determined in multi-faith homes (like mine)? Was the questionnaire simply filled in with the religion of the person completing the form? I expect so.

I wonder how many more pagans there would be if it was an individual return?

One thought on “Census 2011 – the Religion Question

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  1. These figures are interesting, but, as you say, questionable. If 80,000 is reasonably accurate, this means we’re approaching the same order of magnitude as Buddhists, who are now only about 3x as many as us. The Christian category aggregates wildly differing denominations and will include many nominal C of E, of course. Pagans ( of almost equally diverse hues? ) are about one in every thousand of the population then, and one to every 415 Christians. But at a few hundred in a Metropolitan Borough or City of a few hundred thousand, this is still a long way from mainstream.

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