The number of people in Britain who are religiously unaffiliated has more than doubled in a decade, according to new data released by the Office for National Statistics.
The ONS said that more than three-quarters of people aged 16 and over were non-religious in 2015-16, up from less than half in 2011-12.
The new data shows that the number of religiously unafflicted people grew from 16.5 million in 2010-11 to 18.9 million in 2015.
The number of “no religion” adults aged 65 and over increased by almost 40 per cent between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016, from 16 million to 21.9million.
“People are not only more religiously unafferved, they’re also more secular,” said Anne Perkins, director of the Institute for Social Justice.
“Religious people don’t need religion to get things done.
They need it to get out of the house and go out.”
There were 4.3 million more religiously affiliated adults in England and Wales in 2015 than there were in 2010.
The percentage of religiously affiliated people increased in Scotland and Wales between 2010 and 2015, and the figures in Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland-Scotland increased more than any other regions.
In Scotland, religiously unafforded adults made up just 2.4 per cent of the population in 2015, up by 0.3 per cent from 2010.
In England, the figure was 1.9 per cent, down by 0,1 per cent in 2010 and down by 1.4 percent in 2015 from the previous year.
However, the figures show that the proportion of religiously disaffected adults has dropped from 12.3 percent in 2010 to 9.9 percent in 2020, with the largest declines in Scotland (down by 2.5 per cent) and Wales (down 2.9%) .
In England-wide, there were about 4.7 million religiously disordered adults in 2015 and more than 3.5 percent of people who had a religious affiliation were religiously unaffcluded, compared to about 2.1 per percent in 2011.
There was a dramatic rise in the number in England of people with a religious orientation.
From 2.6 per cent to 4.2 percent, and from 4.4 to 6.6 percent, the number with a religion orientation rose from 18.5 to 21 per cent.
The latest figures from the ONS also reveal that the percentage of people of no religion who said they attended religious services regularly fell from 7.4 in 2010, to 5.5 in 2015 to 4 per cent by 2020.
That decline is due to an increase in the proportion attending church services and funerals, where people often go to pray or to be with friends.
A spokesperson for the ONs religious affairs department said that the figures were “likely to understate the extent to which religion and religion-related organisations are growing in Britain”.
“We can’t underestimate the positive impact of religious institutions on society, but we can say that the numbers of religious people attending services in 2015 were lower than in 2010,” she said.
“They are not increasing.
They are decreasing.”
The ONs figures showed that the religion of more than 6.5million people fell from 18 per cent last year to 9 per cent this year, a fall of 1.2 percentage points on the previous years figure.
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