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While the UK is basically secular, it is also overwhelmingly Christian. The highest number of Christians by English region is found in north-east England (80.1%).

In Scotland, the picture remains largely unchanged. The Church of Scotland is still the dominant form of Christianity with 42.4%. In some areas there are so few people of other religions they may comprise no more than one family here or there.

UK overwhelmingly Christian
Islam second largest religion
Most religions found in London
Rise in N Ireland Catholics

As expected, the highest concentration of other religions is found in London. The capital has the highest proportion of the nation's Muslims (8.5%), Hindus (4.1%), Jews (2.1%) and Buddhists (0.8%).

Muslims have now emerged as the second largest religion in the UK, comprising 2.7% of the population and some 1.5m people.

This falls short of some predictions of more than two million British Muslims. But some academics say the figure may already be much higher because of the arrival of more refugees from Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia.

The religion figures for Northern Ireland released last year revealed a rise in the number of Catholics, but not as much as expected. Northern Ireland also had the highest number of people declining to state their religion some 13.88%.

Finally, during the census there was an internet campaign encouraging people to identify their religion as "Jedi Knight". Some 390,000 did so.

Religion in Britain
Eng/Wales Scotland
Christian 71.75% 65.09%
Muslim 2.97% 0.84%
Jewish 0.50% 0.13%
Buddhist 0.28% 0.13%
Hindu 1.06% 0.11%
Sikh 0.63% 0.13%
Other 0.29% 0.53%
None 14.81% 27.55%
No answer 7.71% 5.49%

Source: Census 2001

Religion in Northern Ireland
Catholic: 40.26%
Protestant: 45.57%
Other: 0.30%
Non stated: 13.88%

Source: Census 2001

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