United Kingdom
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Anglican

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Protestant (incl. Anglican, Pentecostal) (48%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

United Kingdom Northern Europe World
Christian (all denominations combined) 59.9% 65.4% 29.9%
  • Anglican
  • 37.9% 24.5% 1.2%
  • Catholic
  • 8.7% 12.4% 15%
  • Protestant
  • 8% 23.2% 5.6%
  • Pentecostal
  • 2% 1.7% 2.8%
  • Orthodox
  • 0.9% 1.7% 3%
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 2.3% 1.9% 2.3%
    Muslim (all denominations combined) 5.1% 4.1% 22.8%
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 4.7% 3.6% 19%
  • Shia Muslim
  • 0.4% 0.5% 3.4%
  • Other and Unknown Muslim
  • < 0.1% < 0.1% 0.3%
    Hindu 1.4% 1% 14.5%
    Sikh 0.7% 0.5% 0.4%
    Buddhist (all denominations combined) 0.5% 0.4% 6.6%
  • Mahayana Buddhist
  • 0.1% 0.1% 4.3%
  • Vajrayana Buddhist
  • 0.1% --- 0.2%
  • Other and Unknown Buddhist
  • 0.2% 0.3% 0.5%
    Jewish 0.4% 0.3% 0.2%
    Christian Syncretic 0.2% 0.2% ---
    Other Religionist 0.3% 0.3% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 29.7% 25.8% 12%
    Unknown 1.7% 2% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 94,525 square miles and a population of 60.2 million. Christians make up 72 percent of the population, including the Church of England, Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church, Protestants, and many unaffiliated Christian groups. In 2003 the Office of National Statistics estimated 29 percent of the population identified with Anglicanism, 10 percent with the Catholic Church, and 14 percent with Protestant churches. On December 26, 2007, a survey reported that the number of Catholics attending Sunday services has overtaken the number of Anglicans doing so. A September 2006 English Church Census reported that Methodists were decreasing as a percentage of the population, while members of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Pentecostal churches, many churches from Africa, and the Eastern Orthodox Church, almost entirely immigrants, were increasing.

    Individuals with no religious belief comprise 15 percent of the population. Muslims comprise 3 percent of the population. The Muslim community is predominantly South Asian in origin, but other groups from the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Levant are represented. In addition, there is a growing number of indigenous converts. Although estimates vary, the Government places the number of mosques in the whole country at one thousand. Groups comprising 1 percent or less of the population include Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, and Buddhists. Individuals from Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Sikh backgrounds are concentrated in London and other large urban areas, primarily in England.

    Attendance at religious services was significantly different from the number of adherents. According to a report released on May 8, 2008, by Religious Trends, only 4 million Christians attend services on a regular basis (defined as at least once a month) in the country. These figures do not include Northern Ireland, where higher percentages reportedly attend both Catholic (more than 60 percent) and Protestant (more than 35 percent) services. The Religious Trends report stated that more than 50 percent of Muslims regularly worship at mosques. Figures for Jews and other religious groups were unavailable.

    Religious affiliation was not evenly distributed among ethnicities. According to the 2001 census, approximately 70 percent of the white population described themselves as Christians. Nearly 75 percent of black Caribbean respondents stated that they were Christians, as did 70 percent of black Africans. Meanwhile, 45 percent of Indians were Hindus and 29 percent were Sikhs. Approximately 92 percent of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis were Muslims.

    In Northern Ireland, where divisions between nationalists and unionists evolved largely along religious lines, the 2001 census showed that 53.1 percent were Protestants and 43.8 percent were Catholics. Many Catholics and Protestants continued to live in segregated communities in Northern Ireland, although many middle class neighborhoods were mixed communities. The policy of the Government remained one of promotion of religious tolerance.


    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    3.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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