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British Social Attitudes: Religious decline "comes to a halt"

07 August 2016 | Tags: British Social Attitudes, religion and belief

 

Today we have published the latest data on religious affiliation in Britain from NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey.

The new findings show that while the proportion of people saying they have no religion increased gradually from 31% in 1983 up to 51% in 2009, there has been no increase between 2009 and 2015. The figure today stands at 48% and the proportion saying they have no religion has never gone above the 2009 peak of 51%.

This halt in the decline of religion in Britain is largely due to the proportion of people describing themselves as a Christian of some kind being relatively stable since 2009. However, this perhaps masks a slight decrease in the number of Anglicans and a slight increase in those following non-Christian religions, since 2009.

A breakdown by age also reveals that this plateauing in the proportion saying they have no religion has happened across all age groups.

Ian Simpson, Senior Researcher at NatCen Social Research, said:

“The proportion of people saying they have no religion peaked at 51% in 2009 and has plateaued since then. It appears that the steady decline of religion in Britain has come to a halt, at least for now. This is partly due to a stabilisation in the proportion of people describing themselves as a Christian of some kind, since 2009. However, this also appears to mask a small increase in the number of those with a non-Christian religion offsetting a small decrease in the number of Anglicans”.

To see the data follow this link.

ENDS

NatCen Social Research, Britain's largest independent social research organisation, aims to promote a better-informed society through high quality social research (www.natcen.ac.uk).

The 2015 British Social Attitudes survey consisted of 4,328 interviews with a representative, random sample of adults in Britain with a response rate of 51%. Interviewing was carried out between 4th July and 2nd November.