The Muslim population of England and Wales has increased by 44 per cent over the past decade, according to newly released data from the Census 2021.
The figures published by the Office of for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of people identifying as Muslim in England and Wales was 6.5 per cent or 3.9 million people compared to 4.9 per cent (2.7 million people) in 2011.
However, the data also showed that the majority of Muslims (61 per cent) live in the most deprived areas of both countries, while just 4 per cent live in the least deprived fifth of England and Wales. Additionally, the second largest ethnic group was Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh, accounting for 9.3 per cent of the overall population – 5.5 million people, up from 4.2 million.
According to 2011 census, there were 2.7 million Muslims (4.9%) in the UK.
According to 2021 census, there are 3.9 million Muslims (6.5%) in the UK.
This 44% increase is significant. May Allah enable us to become true ambassadors of Islam and exemplify it's beautiful teachings. pic.twitter.com/5zy6ceZJB7
— Dr Yusuf Shabbir (@ibn_shabbir) November 29, 2022
As with the last census, Tower Hamlets in East London had the highest percentage of the population who described themselves as Muslim, with the population increasing by 1.9 per cent and now making up almost 40 per cent of the local population.
The Census data also shed light on the decline of Christianity as, for the first time, fewer people in England and Wales describe themselves as Christian. The proportion of people who said they were of the Christian faith was 46.2 per cent, down from 59.3 per cent in the previous census.
Meanwhile, 37.2 per cent of people (22.2 million) declared they had "no religion", which was the second most common response and represents an increase from 25.2 per cent in 2011.
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, was quoted in The Guardian as saying the results "throws down a challenge to us not only to trust that God will build his kingdom on Earth but also to play our part in making Christ known".
"We have left behind the era when many people almost automatically identified as Christian but other surveys consistently show how the same people still seek spiritual truth and wisdom and a set of values to live by."