Fewer than half the people in England and Wales consider themselves Christian, according to the most recent census — the first time a minority of the population has followed the country’s official religion.
Britain has become less religious — and less white — in the decade since the last census, figures from the 2021 census released Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics revealed.
Some 46.2% of the population of England and Wales described themselves as Christian on the day of the 2021 census, down from 59.3% a decade earlier. The Muslim population grew from 4.9% to 6.5% of the total, while 1.7% identified as Hindu, up from 1.5%.
More than 1 in 3 people — 37% — said they had no religion, up from 25% in 2011.
The other parts of the U.K., Scotland and Northern Ireland, report their census results separately.
Secularism campaigners said the shift should trigger a rethink of the way religion is entrenched in British society. The U.K. has state-funded Church of England schools, Anglican bishops sit in Parliament’s upper chamber, and the monarch is “defender of the faith” and supreme governor of the church.