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Deep Dive Into "Any Other Religion": Part Two (Humanism)

Sarah Butler

2nd March 2023

This is the second part of a series of blogs looking at what is meant by "any other religion" in the 2021 census data (released in November 2022). This time we are focusing on humanism.

Humanism accounted for 10,000 of the 405,000 people in England and Wales who identify as having ‘any other religion’. Meaning that 0.7% of the UK and Wales population chose to write-in Humanism as their specific response to the "Any other Religion’ option.

According to Humanists UK, which has over 100,000 members and supporters, a poll by YouGov has found that around 29% of the population hold a non-religious outlook on life that matches the humanist one, and around 7% (almost 5 million people) primarily identify with the label, demonstrating skepticism over the Census data.

Humanists UK goes on to tell us that in Scotland, where humanist marriages are legally recognised, almost a quarter of all marriages are humanist - this brings a new perspective to the notion of returning to religion for hatching, matching and dispatching!

Humanists UK have raised the question of validity in the UK & Wales Census, by promoting their ‘If you’re not religious, say so!’ campaign. This campaign called upon individuals to consider the potentially biased nature of the ‘what is your religion?’ census question.

Look out for Part 3 next week, where we will be taking a deep dive into Zoroastrianism!

Sarah Butler

Sarah is an experienced Head of Social Sciences, EPQ Coordinator and Sociology examiner.

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