May 29, 2024


The Legal System

Central Queensland Clean energy exported via grid-connected battery at Tanby

The end of Christian Majority in England and Wales

The preoccupying image of the West-European population is that of white Christians. The census conducted by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggests that we revise that image when it comes to England and Wales. These nations have seen a 17% in the number of people that identify as Christians and a 43% rise in the number of people that identify as followers of Islam. 37.2% of the people have claimed to follow no religion marking a rise of 22 percentage points over the past 20 years. These non-religious people form the second largest group after the Christians, and for the first time less than half of the population of England and Wales has identified as Christians. 

This change has come as a surprising revelation to a lot of people. The archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, voiced his concern saying the census result “throws down a challenge to us not only to trust that God will build his kingdom on Earth but also to play our part in making Christ known”. The 13.1% drop in the total number of Christians establishes the archbishop’s theory.

The chief executive of Humanists UK, Andrew Copson, said: “One of the most striking things about these census results is how at odds the population is from the state itself. No state in Europe has such a religious setup as we do in terms of law and public policy, while at the same time having such a non-religious population.”

If there is a connection between the non-religiosity of 22 million people with the overtly religious policy making is a debate for social scientists to settle. What’s interesting about this non-religious population is that a large portion of them are white while religiosity is more common among ethnic minorities.

Setting a solid example of super-diversity, Leicester is now a minority-majority city, the first in the UK along with Birmingham. Ethnic minority groups comprise 59.1% of Leicester’s population, a great leap from 1991 when around 25% of the population came from black and other ethnic minorities.

Despite the increment in population the discrimination against ethnic minorities in terms of opportunities and payment is quite real. According to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies weekly earnings among black Caribbean male employees were 13% lower than white British men in 2019, while Pakistanis received 22% less and Bangladeshis were paid 42% lower.