Average age of Christians in England and Wales rises above 50

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The latest data set from the 2021 Census reveals that Christians are the oldest on average among people of faith in England and Wales.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Monday reveal that the average age of a Christian is now 51. 

This far exceeds the average age of 40 for the overall population of England and Wales.

By contrast, those describing themselves as Muslim had the youngest average age of 27 years old, followed by those who reported "no religion" - 32 years old. 

It is the first time since the Census began that the average age of a Christian has risen above 50. In 2011, it was 45 years old. 

Only Buddhists experienced as large an increase in median age. 

In total, 27.5 million people identified their religion as Christian in 2021. Of these, over a quarter (29%) were aged 65 and older, up from 22.3% in 2011. This is a higher proportion than the 18.6% of the overall population of England Wales who are in this age group.

The religion question in the Census was voluntary but was still answered by 94 per cent of the population. 

The ONS said, "The diversity in ages across religious groups increased over time; the difference between the youngest median age (those identifying as 'Muslim') and oldest (those identifying as 'Christian') median age increased from 20 years in 2011 to 24 years in 2021."