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Census finds the Force is still with us

19 December 2014

iSTOCK

Grand Master: a street performer dressed as Yoda, on the South Bank, in London, with St Paul's Cathedral in the background, photographed in November, 2013 

Grand Master: a street performer dressed as Yoda, on the South Bank, in London, with St Paul's Cathedral in the background, photographed in No...

MORE than 176,000 people described their religion as "Jedi Knight" in the last census in 2011, new figures have shown.

While the largest religion was Christian - selected by 33.2 million people, or 59 per cent of the population of England and Wales - the second largest group was "No Reli-gion", which accounted for 14 million people, or 25 per cent of the population.

For the first time, however, the Office of National Statistics has released the results of those who did not choose one of the main religions offered on the form but instead wrote in their own. After Jedi Knight, the second most common "religion" was "Pagan" - chosen by 56,620 people. Third most common were the 39,061 Spiritualists, and then 32,382 Agnostics, and 29,267 Atheists. Among other answers given by at least 100 people were "Mixed Religion", "Wicca", "Heavy Metal", and "Own Belief System".

The most common of the main faiths other than Christianity was Islam, which was claimed by 2.7million census respondents, and then Hinduism (816,000 people).Answering the religion question on the census was optional, however, and four million people (7.2 per cent of the population of England and Wales) - the third largest group - did not state any religion.

The large figure for Jedi Knight is a throwback to the previous census in 2001, when 390,127 people chose it in protest against the inclusion of the religious question in the census.

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