How religious are British people?

Milan DinicDirector - Content Strategy and Innovation
December 29, 2020, 10:47 AM GMT+0

A quarter of Britons say they believe in ‘a god’. Four in ten neither believe in ‘a god’ nor in a ‘higher power’

Although the United Kingdom is a monarchy formally led by a ruler who also governs the official church – the Church of England – belief in ‘a god’ in the UK is low. Only a quarter of Britons (27%) say they actually believe in ‘a god’. A further one in six (16%) believe in the existence of ‘a higher spiritual power’, but not ‘a god’.

Amongst British Christians, just over half (56%) believe in the existence of God, whilst 16% believe in a higher power. One in ten (10%) of British Christians say they do not believe there is ‘a god’ or ‘a higher power’.

Belief in ‘a god’ is low across all age groups. Older Britons – those aged 60 and above – are the most likely to believe in a supreme deity, but even there just a third (36%) hold this view.

Overall, four in ten (41%) Britons believe there is neither ‘a god’ nor ‘a higher power’. Younger generations are the most likely to think there is no greater force out there, including 50% of 25-39 year olds and 45% of 16-24 year olds, compared to 32% of those 60 and over.

Women (48%) are notably more likely than men (36%) to say they believe in the existence of ‘a god’/‘a higher spiritual power’. A quarter (28%) of women believe there is ‘a god’, whilst one in five (20%) believe that there is some form of a higher spiritual power.

Religiousness in Britain

Over half (55%) of Britons say they do not belong to any particular religion. A third (35%) belong to one of the recognised Christian denominations (20% to the Church of England and the rest to other denominations). A further 7% belong to other religions.

A quarter of religious people (23%) said their religion is ‘very important’ to them, and a further third (32%) say it is ‘somewhat important’. However, four in ten (42%) of those who belong to a particular religion say it doesn’t play an important role in their lives.

The gender breakdown of the results shows that more women (59%) than men (51%) consider religion to be important in their lives.

Amongst British Christians, 44% say that religion isn’t important in their life. Only half as many (22%) of those who belong to other religions say the same.

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