Census to ask about faith

20 October 2010

NEXT year’s UK census will ask a voluntary question on religion which will allow people to identify the faith group to which they belong.

In 1851, a census of religious places of worship took place, but it was not until the 2001 census that the question on religion was included.

In 2001, 37 million people reg­is­tered as Christian, with a majority recorded in the north-west of England. But the census will not help to identify numbers in each Chris­tian denomination, as denomina­tions will not be separated into different categories on the questionnaire.

Each different faith group will be listed. Those who wish to write their particular denomination can tick an “any other religion” box and enter it in the space provided. In 2001, about 400,000 people put Jedi in this space, the quasi-religious order of knights from the Star Wars films. The census will take place on 27 March 2011. For the first time in census history, people will be able to complete it online.

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