Census reveals fall in number of Christians

The number of Christians in Britain has fallen by 13 percentage points

There has been a drop in the number of people in Britain identifying themselves as Christians, according to new data released from the 2011 Census.

The statistics reveal that the number of Christians has fallen from 37 million to 33 million since 2001. Christians now make up 59% of the population, as opposed to 72% in 2001.

The number of Muslims has risen from 1.5 million to 2.7 million - or 5% of the population - while the number of people describing themselves as having no religion rose by 10% to 25% of the population.

Knowsley had the highest percentage of Christians, while Norwich registered the highest number of people with "no religion".

Newham, Haringey, Brent, Boston and Lambeth all showed increases in the number of Christians.

Chief executive of the British Humanist Association Andrew Copson said the data represented a "really significant cultural shift".

There has also been a fall in the number of people who are married, from 50.9% in 2001 to 46.6% - or 21.1 million - today.

Speaking ahead of the release of the Census data, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams resisted the idea that the Church was fading away as he pointed to the continued popularity of cathedrals.

"This is not the familiar story of a church that's fading away," he wrote in the Radio Times.

"It should make us think twice before signing up to that particular cliché."

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