Last week, I was on BBC One’s The Big Questions to debate ‘Has religion had its day?’ on Census Day 2021.
Data is an important means of answering this question. Looking at religiosity in three ways we see that:
- Religious practice – attendance at places of worship is not something that 90% of people do on a regular basis.
- Religious beliefs – 80% of people don’t subscribe to any standard minimum religious beliefs (eg ‘There is a god and Jesus was his son’ or ‘There is a god and Mohammed is his messenger’ etc) and a majority of people don’t believe in any god(s).
- Religious identity – 52% of people, when asked if they belong to a religion said no in the 2018 British Social Attitudes Survey.
In contrast, the number of people identifying as non-religious increased by 15% between the 2001 and 2011 England and Wales censuses – with that number set to increase in this year’s Census. Humanist values in particular have had enormous success in the past decade. We find increasing measures of people finding values, meaning, and goodness in each other rather than in an external source.
You can watch the clip here.