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Londoners are more religious than rest of Britain

26 March 2016 | Tags: British Social Attitudes, religion and belief

People in London are much more likely to be religious than elsewhere in Britain.

People in London are much more likely to be religious than elsewhere in Britain, new analysis published by NatCen Social Research reveals today.

The findings from NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey show that 67% of Londoners consider themselves to belong to a religion, compared to just 48% in the rest of Britain. While the proportion of people who say they have no religion has increased by 63% since 1983, the figure has remained relatively stable in London.

There is a similar proportion of Christians in London and in the rest of the country, but the picture is different when it comes to non-Christian religions. Only 4% of people outside of London consider themselves to belong to a non-Christian religion, whereas in London that proportion is 31%.

More likely to attend services

The research also found striking differences in religious participation. Since 2001, the proportion of Londoners (who either had a religion or were brought up in a religion) who said they attended religious services at least once a week has dramatically increased. Meanwhile, regular religious participation in the rest of the country has remained stable.

Ian Simpson, Senior Researcher at NatCen Social Research said: “People in London are much more likely to be religious than people living elsewhere in Britain. This difference is driven by the much larger proportion of people who belong to non-Christian religions in the capital, compared with the rest of Britain. But not only are Londoners more likely to belong to a religion, they’re also much more likely to actively participate in that religion. This is partly because those with a non-Christian religion are more likely to attend services connected with their religion than Christians are. However, Christians who live in London are also more likely to attend religious services than Christians who live in the rest of Britain”.

The findings also suggested that there was no significant difference in religious participation between age groups in either London or the rest of Britain.

ENDS

Download the tables here.

For more information contact Sophie Brown: sophie.brown@natcen.ac.uk or 07734 960 069

Notes to editors:

NatCen Social Research is an independent, not for profit organisation. We believe that social research has the power to make life better. By really understanding the complexity of people’s lives and what they think about the issues that affect them, we give the public a powerful and influential role in shaping decisions and services that can make a difference to everyone.

Sample and approach – The 2014 British Social Attitudes survey consisted of 2,878 interviews with a representative, random sample of adults in Britain. Interviewing was mainly carried out between August and October 2014, with a small number of interviews taking place in November 2014. Addresses are randomly selected and visited by one of NatCen Social Research’s interviewers. After selecting one adult at the address (again at random), the interviewer carries out an hour long interview. Most questions are answered by the participant selecting an answer from a set of cards.