Roots and Religion

Mapping Roots and Religion

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This is one of our more unusual themes, because only two censuses have ever gathered information on religion in England and Wales, and they were 150 years apart!

The 1851 Census of Religion was a separate census carried out at the same time as the main Census of Population. It assumed that everyone was Christian, and tried to find out what kind of Christians were most important in each district. It did this by counting how many people attended each church on the census Sunday. Our information has been considerably simplified from the original returns, which counted 35 different religious groups in England and Wales. One result is a large 'other' category.

In 2001, a question about religion was included among the questions in the main census for the first time ever. Except in Scotland, where there is separate information on the Church of Scotland, Catholics and 'Other Christian', the results lump all Christians together but also gathered information on Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs. People were allowed to write in other religions not included on the census form, but we have no data on the distribution of 'Jedi'.

All available maps for the theme Roots and Religion

Select a particular date to choose a combination of rate, unit type and date.

District/Unitary Authority Government Office Region
Baptist 'Attendances' as Percentage of Total 1851
1851
Calvinistic Methodist 'Attendances' as Percentage of Total 1851
1851
Church of England 'Attendances' as Percentage of Total 1851
1851
Church of Scotland 'Attendances' as Percentage of Total 1851
1851
Roman Catholic 'Attendances' as Percentage of Total 1851
1851
Wesleyan Methodist 'Attendances' as Percentage of Total 1851
1851

Redistricted data on Roots and Religion

These notes concern the historical statistics for modern local authorities, which have been created for Vision of Britain by re-districting statistics originally reported for other units. We have also had to deal with variations in the categories and classifications used in statistical reporting over the years.

  • 1851: The data are taken from the table 'Number of Places of Worship, Sittings and Attendants connected with the various Religious Bodies in England and Wales arranged in Registration Districts, or Poor Law Unions' in Census of Great Britain. Religious Worship. England and Wales. Report and Tables, BPP 1852-3 [C.1690] LXXXIX, 1-. We have a full transcription of this report prepared by Dr. Paul Ell of the Queens' University, Belfast. The data are in fact a count of 'attendances', so if someone attended the morning, afternoon and evening services they would have been counted three times. The information presented here is further simplified by concentrating on the main Christian groups. 34 groups in all were listed, including the 'Campbellites' and the 'Glassites'. We have merged the 'Wesleyan Methodist Association' and the 'Wesleyan Methodist Original Connexion' into 'Wesleyan Methodist'. One non-Christian place of worship does appear in the 1851 data, but this was a single Jewish synagogue in Edinburgh.
  • 2001: The data are taken from table KS07 'Religion: Census 2001, Key Statistics for local Authorities', covering all people.

These selections from historical census reports are on the theme of Roots and Religion.

CensusArea CoveredReport TitleSection Title
Intro Great Britain Guide to Census Reports: Great Britain 1801-1966 Selected Subjects: Birthplace and Nationality
Intro Great Britain Guide to Census Reports: Great Britain 1801-1966 Selected Subjects: Migration
Intro Great Britain Guide to Census Reports: Great Britain 1801-1966 Selected Subjects: Religious Worship
1861 England and Wales General Report Migration of the People at Home (Birth-Places)
1881 England and Wales General Report Birthplaces of the Population
1891 England and Wales General Report Birth-Places of the Population
1901 England and Wales General Report, with Appendices Birthplaces of the Population
1901 England and Wales General Report, with Appendices Floating Population and Vagrants
1911 England and Wales General Report with Appendices Birthplaces
1911 Scotland Occupations by birthplace, Nationalities, Infirmities, Fertility Foreigners
1911 Scotland Occupations by birthplace, Nationalities, Infirmities, Fertility Colonials and Naturalised British Subjects
1911 Scotland Population, Ages and Conjugal Condition, Occupations, Birthplaces, Housing, Gaelic-speaking Birthplaces
1921 England and Wales General Report with Appendices Birthplace and Nationality