Welcome to Dorset Humanists

Dorset Humanists is a welcoming group for humanists, atheists and agnostics who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. We meet in Bournemouth for informative and enjoyable presentations, debates and discussions on a wide range of subjects including ethics, science, religion, philosophy, politics, our environment and much more. We also organise regular social events.

Census 2011: In Dorset the non-religious population has almost doubled in ten years.

The Census 2011 results (see Figure 3) show that South West England is the least religious in England with 29.3% non-religious ... the England average is 24.7% (see table below).

Census results just published show a plunge in the number of people ticking ‘Christian’ in England and Wales from 72% in 2001 to 59% in 2011 (see Figure 4 below) and an increase in the number of people ticking to say they have no religion from 15% in 2001 to 25% in 2011. (see Figure 1 & 2).

Chris Street
Chris Street (Education Officer, Dorset Humanists - see right) analyses the results of the Census 2011 & 2001 question 'What is your religion?' for England & Wales, then drills down to South West England & Dorset including Bournemouth and Poole.

The 'What is your religion?' question gives data on 'religious affiliation' not religious belief in God or religious practise or observance (see 'Is the question 'What is your Religion?' fatally flawed?  post).

Thanks to Dave E for providing Table 1:-


Area name
Local Authority
Area 
Christian
Christian
No religion
No religion



%
%
%
%



2001 2011 2001 2011
ENGLAND AND WALES

71.75 59.3 14.81 25.1
ENGLAND

71.74 59.4 14.59 24.7
SOUTH WEST

73.99 60.4 16.75 29.3

Bournemouth UA
70.91 57.1 17.94 30.5

Poole UA
74.34 60.4 16.23 29.7

Dorset
77.88 65.3 13.74 25.2


Christchurch 79.06 67.1 13.18 23.6


East Dorset 79.90 66.8 12.61 24.2


North Dorset 77.75 66.5 13.61 23.8


Purbeck 78.36 65.0 13.81 25.9


West Dorset 77.55 65.3 13.61 25.0


Weymouth & Portland 74.67 61.0 15.89 29.3

Table 1: England & Wales, South West, Dorset: % Christian & No religion.




Figure 1: Religious Affiliation, England and Wales 2011
source: ONS

England and Wales - Census 2011

The England & Wales 2011 religious census data was released 11 December 2012 by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) :-

Census 2001 v 2011 in England & Wales

Compared with the 2001 Census the most significant trends (see Figure 2 & 3 below) of Census 2011 were:-
  • an increase in the population reporting no religion – from 14.8 per cent of the population in 2001 to 25.1 per cent in 2011, an increase of 70 per cent
  • a drop in the population reporting to be Christian - from 71.7 per cent in 2001 to 59.3 per cent in 2011, a decrease of 17 per cent
  • an increase in all other main religions. The number of Muslims increased the most from 3.0 per cent in 2001 to 4.8 per cent in 2011
  • For every 4 Christians (48%) there is 1 Muslim (12.4%) in London
  • The South West (29.3%) is the least non-religious region in England


Figure 2: Change in Religious affiliation, 2001 - 2011, England and Wales
source: ONS


Figure 3: Religious affiliation, England regions and Wales 2011 Census
source: ONS

In comparison with 2001,
  • the proportion reporting no religion increased across all regions – ranging from 5.0% in London to 13.6% in Wales (see Figure 5)
  • Christian affiliation fell across all regions – ranging from 9.8% in London to 14.3% in Wales (see Figure 4)
  • London had the largest increase of Muslims (3.9%) and Hindus (1.0%)

Figure 4: Christians % 2001 v 2011 Religious affiliation
Click map to enlarge. Interactive map - search by postcode - compare 2001 v 2011 in your area

In England & Wales the population over the last 10 years has increased from 52M to 56.1M, a 7.7% increase. The non-religious have increased from 7.7M to 14M, an 82% increase. The non-religious now account for 25.1% of the population up from 14.8% in 2001. Christians have decreased from 37.3M to 33.2M, a 10.9% decrease from 71.7% of the population in 2001 to 59.3% in 2011. Muslims have increased from 3% to 4.8% of the population. (see Figure 6)


Figure 5: No Religion % 2001 v 2011. 
Click map for larger image. Interactive map - search by postcode - compare 2001 v 2011 in your area



Figure 6: Census 2011 v 2001 England & Wales 
Interactive map - search by postcode - compare 2001 v 2011 in your area

South West England

Dorset CC, Bournemouth UA and Poole UA are part of South West England. Poole UA is typical of the South West in changes in religious affiliation since 2010.

The South West (see Figure 7) is the least non-religious region in England (29.3%). Wales had the highest proportion of people reporting no religion at nearly a third of the population (see Figure 3).

Note: Other regions of South West England are:- Bath and North East Somerset UA, City of Bristol UA, North Somerset UA, Plymouth UA, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.


Figure 7: Census 2011 v 2001 - Religion and No Religion in South West



In March 2011 prior to the 27 March 2011 Census, Dorset Humanists campaigned in Dorset and the British Humanist Association campaigned in England & Wales asking people to tick the 'No Relgion' box in the Census, if they were not religious.

Dorset Humanists Census Campaign included leafleting in Bournemouth Square, paid ads in Dorset newspapers and on Facebook.

Census 2011: the County of Dorset


Figure 8: Numbers with No religious affiliation in Dorset 2001 v 2011

The Bournemouth UA, Poole UA and Dorset CC (see below) combined regions gives the County of Dorset ('Dorset') figures. Numbers of non-religious people in 'Dorset' has increased from 15.2% in 2001 to 27.4% in 2011 (see Figure 15).

On Census Day 2011, Dorset had a population of 744,041 with 204,054 people of 'No religion' up from 105,495 in 2001.

In Dorset the non-religious have almost doubled (+93%) in numbers from 105,495 in 2001 to 204,054 in 2011. That's a whopping ~100,000 more non-religious people living in Dorset today compared to 2001! (see Figure 8)

In 2011 62.3% and in 2001 75.5% of Dorset population were Christians. Although the Dorset population has grown by 7.4% or 51,329 (744,041 in 2011, 692,712 in 2001), the number of Christians in Dorset has reduced by 11.3% or 59,383 (463,808 in 2011; 523,191 in 2001). (Figure 9)


Figure 9: Census 2011 v 2001 Religion and No Religion in the County of Dorset

Bournemouth

In 2011 55,911 or 30.5% of the Bournemouth Unitary Authority (UA) 183,491 population were non-religious.

This represents a 70% increase in % non-religious people compared to 2001 when 29,326 or 17.9% of the Bournemouth UA 163,444 population were non-religious (see graph below).

In Bournemouth there are now almost double the number of non-religious people (+90%) in 2011 (55,911) compared to 2001 (29,326).

In 2011 57.1% and in 2001 70.9% of the Bournemouth population were Christians. Although the Bournemouth population has grown by 12% or 20,047 (183,491 in 2011, 163,444 in 2001), the number of Christians in Bournemouth has reduced by 10% or 11,065 (104,828 in 2011, 115,893 in 2001) (see Figure 10).


Figure 10: Census 2011 v 2001 Religion and No Religion in Bournemouth, Dorset


Figure 11: Map of No Religion % in Bournemouth 2001 v 2011. 
Click for larger clearer image
Interactive map - search by postcode - compare 2001 v 2011 in your area

As a bit of an aside, the least religious places in England & Wales are Norwich (42.5%) and Brighton & Hove UA (42.4%). In Bournemouth, 30.5% of the population is non-religious. Thus Bournemouth is 43rd (out of 348) of the least religious places to live in England and Wales (see Figure 12).


Figure 12: Top 50 least religious places in England & Wales 2011
1) Norwich 2) Brighton and Hove ... 43) Bournemouth

Poole

In 2011 43,922 or 29.7% of the Poole Unitary Authority (UA) 147,645 population were non-religious. 

This represents an 83% increase in % non-religious people compared to 2001 when 22,442 or 16.2% of the Poole UA ('Poole') 138,288 population were non-religious (see graph below).

In Poole there are now almost double the number of non-religious people (+ 95.7%) in 2011 (43,922) compared to 2001 (22,442).

In 2011 60.4% and in 2001 70.4% of the Poole population were Christians. Although the Poole population has grown by 6.7% or 9,357 (147,645 in 2011, 138,288 in 2001), the number of Christians in Poole has reduced by 13.1% or 13,555 (89,243 in 2011, 102,798 in 2001) (see Figure 13).


Figure 13: Census 2011 v 2001, Religion and No Religion in Poole, Dorset


Figure 14: Census 2001 v 2011 No Religion % map of Poole. 
Click map for larger clearer image. 
Interactive map - search by postcode - compare 2001 v 2011 in your area

Dorset County Council

In 2011 104,221 or 25.2% of the Dorset County Council (CC) 412,095 population were non-religious.

This represents a 92% increase in % non-religious people compared to 2001 when 53,727 or 13.1% of the Dorset CC 390,980 population were non-religious (see Figure 15).

In Dorset CC there are now almost double the number of non-religious people (+94%) in 2011 (104,221) compared to 2001 (53,727).

Dorset CC includes the Borough councils of Christchurch, Weymouth and Portland and the District councils of East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset (see Figures 15 & 16).

In 2011 65.3% and in 2001 77.9% of the Dorset CC population were Christians. Although the Dorset CC population has grown by 5.4% or 21,115 (412,095 in 2011, 390,980 in 2001), the number of Christians in Dorset CC has reduced by 11.4% or 34,763 (269,737 in 2011, 304,500 in 2001).

The Census 2011 Religion data (Excel table: KS209EW) was released on 11 December 2012. I compare 2011 data to the archived 2001 Census data (see Excel table: KS07) (see Figure 15).

Read more in Dave Es' 11 December post.



Figure 15: Dorset 2001 v 2011 % No Religion by District or Borough Council


Figure 16: County of Dorset map split by District and Borough Councils.
Surrounding Counties: A =  Devon, B = Somerset, C = Wiltshire, D = Hampshire


Figure 17: Census 2011 v 2001 Religion and No Religion in Dorset County Council


Figure 18: Census 2001 v 2011. No religion % in Christchurch, Dorset. 
Click map for larger clearer image. 
Interactive map - search by postcode - compare 2001 v 2011 in your area



Figure 19: Change in non-religious and Christians in Dorset 2001 to 2011


Figure 20: Population of England and Wales by census response 2011
source: BHA

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for putting this excellent presentatation together, Dave

Dave E. said...

Thanks for the compliment (Although this post was put together by Chris, rather than me).

Chris Street said...

thanks Anon. I've included a few more graphs since you left your kind comment.

Chris Street

Matt Sheard said...

Chris. This is a very interesting summary of the census results for Dorset. I don't need to tell you the difficulties with interpreting the census data, because of possible bias in the census design meaning respondents are reflecting their identity not beliefs, the person completing the form may not reflect the views of their household and because the non-religious have complex ways of reflecting their beliefs. With respect to this last point the Pew Forum have a nice piece of research in the U.S. (http://www.pewforum.org/Not-all-nonbelievers-call-themselves-atheists.aspxhttp://www.pewforum.org/Not-all-nonbelievers-call-themselves-atheists.aspx) which looks at the self identification of 'non-believers', this shows the diversity of identification, and if replicated in the UK, goes some way to explaining the difference between the Census and British Social Attitudes Survey results. Matt

Chris Street said...

Hi Matt, more recent research from Pew (October 2012)about Irreligious
http://hassers.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/pew-forum-in-usa-one-in-five-adults.html

The 'Nothing in Particular' group are increasing and are largest set of Irreligious.

The generational issue seems same in USA and UK. If the trend continues hopefully religion will eventually fade away!!

I've started to look into the Census v Brit Social Attitudes differences here: http://dorset-humanists1.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/census-2011-was-what-is-your-religion.html