The Muslim population has grown from 4.9 percent to 6.5 percent in England and Wales.
A new census has revealed the Muslim population has grown from 2.7 million to 3.9 million since 2011.
Some 46.2 percent of the population of England and Wales described themselves as Christian on the day of the 2021 census, down from 59.3 percent a decade earlier.
People who identified as Hindu grew to 1.7 percent from 1.5 percent. More than 1 in 3 people — 37 percent — said they had no religion, up from 25 percent in 2011.
London has the highest concentration of Muslims. Fifteen percent of Londoners described themselves as Muslim – up from 12.6% in 2021. This means that there are over 1.3 million Muslims living in London alone.
In 2011, the area with the highest percentage of the population who described themselves as “Muslim” was Tower Hamlets (39.9%, up from 38.0% in 2011). Other areas with high percentages of people responding as “Muslim” included Blackburn with Darwen (35.0%) and Newham (34.8%).
The other parts of the UK, Scotland, and Northern Ireland report their census results separately.
Secularism campaigners said the shift should trigger a rethink of the way religion is entrenched in British society.
Media reports quoting Andrew Copson, chief executive of the charity Humanists UK, said “the dramatic growth of the non-religious” had made the UK “almost certainly one of the least religious countries on Earth”.
“One of the most striking things about these results is how at odds the population is from the state itself,” he said. “No state in Europe has such a religious set-up as we do in terms of law and public policy, while at the same time having such a non-religious population.”
Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, one of the most senior clerics in the Church of England, said the data was “not a great surprise,” but was a challenge to Christians to work harder to promote their faith.
“We have left behind the era when many people almost automatically identified as Christian, but other surveys consistently show how the same people still seek spiritual truth and wisdom and a set of values to live by,” he said.