Fewer than half the population of Wales now consider themselves to be Christians, according to latest ONS data
In the 19th century, many in Wales prided themselves on being – by their own estimation – one of the most Christian parts of the British Isles.
But the latest data shows that by 2019, under 50% of the population considered themselves to be Christians, with almost as many having no religion at all.
According to data by the ONS published this week, only 48.2% of the population now considers themselves to be Christians. Across Wales and England, the area where the ONS gather data, an estimated 51% of the population reported their religion as Christian.
The figure for Wales is less than any region of England apart from London, where only 45.1% consider themselves Christian but far more subscribe to other religions, including 14.3% who consider themselves Muslim and 8.6% Hindu.
Wales has the highest percentage who consider themselves to have no religion at all, at 47.3%. Meanwhile, 1.8% are Muslim and 0.5% Hindu.
“The North East, South West, and Wales were the least religiously diverse regions, with over 95% of their populations Christian or with No religion,” the ONS said.
Discussing the figures across Wales and England, they said: “In 2019, an estimated 51.0% of the population reported their religion as Christian, making it the most prevalent religious group in England and Wales.
“However, numbers identifying as Christian have fallen by 8.3 percentage points since the 2011 Census (when 59.3% identified as Christian).”
The statistics are based on the Annual Population Survey (APS) which is the UK’s largest continuous household survey. But the statistics are considered more of an estimate than the census, the results of which are expected to be announced next year.
“The methodology assumes that the proportions of the population groups within England and Wales living in households and communal establishments remain unchanged since the 2011 Census,” the ONS said.
“The uncertainty caused by these assumptions cannot be easily quantified and it is not possible to explore the potential impact of these assumptions until 2021 census data are available.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.