Professor Stephen Bullivant of St Mary’s University in Twickenham, UK, published his study The “No Religion” Population of Britain in 2017 from the British Social Attitudes Survey (2015) and the European Social Survey (2014) as part of the Catholic Research Forum Reports 3. The ten key findings for Great Britain are as follows:
- 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.
- 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%).
- In 1983, 67% of Britons identified as some Christian. In 2015, it was 43%. Over the same period, members of Non-Christian religions have more than quadrupled.
- British Nones is 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.
- 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.)
- Among 25-54-year-olds, the nonreligious have the lowest proportion of university graduates among main nonreligious groupings.
- Three-fifths of Nones say that they were brought up with a religious identity. Fewer than one in ten of those brought up non-religiously now identify with a religion.
- For every one person brought up with No religion which has become a Christian, twenty-six people brought up as Christians now identify as Nones.
- 43% of Nones described themselves as being ‘Not at all religious’. 75% never attend religious services. 76% never pray.
- Nevertheless, there are roughly 0.8 million Nones who both pray monthly or more, and rate their level of religiosity highly. A further 2.8 million either pray monthly or more or rate their religiosity highly (but not both).
The Guardian report below incorporates the survey in Europe.
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