The ‘Nones’: ten key findings

May 17, 2017 by

By Stephen Bullivant, the Benedict VI Centre for Religion and Society, St Mary’s University Twickenham:

The “no religion” population of Britain: Recent data from the British Social Attitudes Survey (2015) and the European Social Survey (2014).

Ten key findings:

1. Those who identify as ‘No religion’ (i.e., Nones, the nonreligious) are 48.6% of the British adult population. This is roughly 24.3 million people. [See figs 1.2, 2.1]

2. Inner London has, by far, the fewest Nones in Britain at 31% (compared to 58% in the South East, and 56% in Scotland). Inner London also has, by far, the highest proportion of those from Non-Christian religions (28%). [See fig. 1.2]

3. In 1983, 67% of Britons identified as some kind of Christian. In 2015, it was 43%. Over the same period, members of Non-Christian religions have more than quadrupled. [See fig. 1.3]

4. British Nones are predominantly White (95%) and male (55%). Nevertheless, there are 10.9 million nonreligious women. Among 18-34s, men and women are equally likely to be Nones. [See figs 2.5, 2.2]

5. Nones are younger than average: 35% are under 35, compared to 29% of all British adult. (To compare: just 6% of Anglicans are under 35, and 45% are 65 or older.) [See fig. 2.3]

6. Among 25-54 year olds, the nonreligious have the lowest proportion of university graduates among main (non)religious groupings. [See fig. 2.7]

7. Three-fifths of Nones say that they were brought up with a religious identity. Fewer than one in ten of those brought up nonreligiously now identify with a religion. [See figs 3.1, 3.3]

8. For every one person brought up with No religion who has become a Christian, twenty-six people brought up as Christians now identify as Nones. [See fig 3.5]

9. 43% of Nones described themselves as being ‘Not at all religious’. 75% never attend religious services. 76% never pray. [See figs 4.2, 4.3, 4.5]

10. Nevertheless there are roughly 0.8 million Nones who both pray monthly or more, and rate their own level of religiosity highly. A further 2.8 million either pray monthly or more, or rate their own religiosity highly (but not both). [See fig. 4.7]

Download the full report here

See here for a more positive take on the Report: Rising patriotism and pride in being Christian sees Church of England congregations grow, by Joe Sheppard, MailOnline


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