Measuring the Christian population in the UK.
Research carried out by Brierley Consultancy in the UK, and published in Church Statistics gives an insight into the membership of churches, the number of places of worship and ministers. Data was published for 2005-2010, together with forecasts up to 2025.
The British Religion in Numbers website has additional data on Christianity in the UK.
Also included on this page are statistics from the UK Census, which was held in 2011, and the British Social Attitudes Surveys (1983-2016).
A poll by You Gov in December 2016 produced the following results for persons asked if they believe in God or a higher spiritual power:
I believe in either God or a higher spiritual power
I do not believe in either God or a higher spiritual power
I believe in some kind of spiritual power only
I am unsure of my belief regarding either of these
Some key findings from the Church Statistics1 report are:
1 The Church Statistics document gives an overview of the various definitions of 'membership' used by different Christian Denominations.
2 Source: Church Statistics 2
Brierley Consultancy have also published statistics for church attendance (as opposed to membership) for the period 1980-2015. Key findings are:
A 2014 survey of approximately 64,000 people in 65 countries revealed the UK to be one of the world's most irreligious countries, with only 30% of those surveyed identifying as 'religious'. In contrast, 13% said they were convinced atheists and 53% of those surveyed said they were not religious.
The top two and bottom two countries together with the UK are shown below:
A 2015 article published by the Spectator magazine, gives the following statistics for Christianity in the UK:
According to the UK Census, between 2001 and 2011 the number of Christians born in Britain fell by 5.3 million - about 10,000 a week. With a continued rate of decline at this level, the number of UK-born Christians would reduce to zero by 2067.
The British Social Attitudes Survey (BSAS) indicates that Anglicanism is declining faster than any other major denomination. With the current rate of decline, it would be set to disappear from Britain by 2033.Source: Spectator magazine, 2015
In 2014, 17% of persons identified as Anglicans in the BSAS:Source: Spectator magazine, 2015
This represents a fall of 23% since 1983.
Between 2012 and 2014 the proportion fell from 21 to 17%: a loss of 1.7 million people in two years.
Between 1983 and 2014, the percentage of British Catholics fell from 10 to 8%.Source: Spectator magazine, 2015
In percentage terms, the numbers of Christians fell by 12.4%.
For the four constituent countries of the UK, the Christian percentage was as follows:
The 2011 census saw the numbers of irreligious persons rise from 7.7 million in 2001 to 14.1 million, a rise of 10.3% to 25.7%.
In one city in England (Norwich), the percentage of irreligious persons was as high as 42.5%.