CHRISTIANS have become a minority in England and Wales for the first time in history, according to new census data released today.

The number of Christians dramatically shrunk from 59.3 per cent in 2011 to 46.2 per cent in 2021.

But the religion is still the largest in England and Wales, followed by Muslims on 6.5 per cent, Hindus on 1.7 per cent, Sikhs on 0.9 per cent and Buddhists and Jews on 0.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, 32 per cent of people who filled out the most recent census identified as having no religion at all.

Commenting on the stats, the Most Rev Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, said: "It's not a great surprise that the census shows fewer people in this country identifying as Christian than in the past, but it still throws down a challenge to us not only to trust that God will build his kingdom on Earth but also to play our part in making Christ known."

The number of people who speak English as their first language has also shrunk.

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In 2011 92.3 per cent of residents in England and Wales recorded speaking English first, but that’s gone down to 92.1 per cent a decade later.

After English the most commonly spoken languages were Polish, Romanian, Punjabi and Urdu.

The number of White people in England and Wales dropped significantly from 86 per cent in 2011 to 81.7 per cent last year.

However, White is still by far the most populous ethnic group, followed by Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh on 9.3 per cent.


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Meanwhile, around one in 10 households include people from at least two different ethnic groups.

Census deputy director Jon Wroth-Smith said. "Today's data highlights the increasingly multi-cultural society we live in. The percentage of people identifying their ethnic group as 'White: English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British', continues to decrease.

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"Whilst this remains the most common response to the ethnic group question, the number of people identifying with another ethnic group continues to increase.

"However, the picture varies depending on where you live. London remains the most ethnically diverse region of England, where just under two-thirds identify with an ethnic minority group, whereas under one in 10 identify this way in the North East.”

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