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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

2011 Census - What is your religion?

The first census forms were posted out on 7 March 2011 and will begin to drop through people’s doors over the next few days. Census day is 27 March 2011.

One of the questions is again; “What is your religion”? You can use it to record your religion, or to specify that you have no religion.

This is a voluntary question as Parliament was concerned that a mandatory religion question would be seen as an infringement of respondents’ civil liberties.

We would respectfully urge all Unitarians and Free Christians to use “Any other religion” and enter “Unitarian” in the space provided. This is the abbreviation for “Unitarian-Free Christian” provided on the list from the Census authorities. So whether you are a Unitarian or a Free Christian, or indeed both, in this context “Unitarian” means all of us.

In the 2001 Census 3604 Unitarians were recorded in England and 383 in Wales. There were another 30 Unitarian-Universalists in England and none in Wales. There were 167 Unitarians in Scotland and 3 Unitarian-other. The total was 4187.

This is your opportunity to ensure that as an accurate as possible count is taken of the number of Unitarians (in the interests of truth and to contribute to knowledge) and also to declare your allegiance.


  1. Thanks for posting this Derek.

    Can I ask where did you get access to those numbers for 2001? I'm sure I perused the census website once and couldn't find any breakdown of the religion question beyond "Christian" "Muslim" "other" etc.

    Can you confirm that even if people write in "Unitarian" they will still be counted under the "Christian" numbers, as apparently this is the case?

  2. Immediately after the census, they post a detailed breakdown (I downloaded it for Pagans in 2001) but then it disappears and you get aggregated numbers.

    I want to write Unitarian and Wiccan (but I no longer identify as a Pagan). I have every respect for Unitarian Christians and Free Christians, but I do not call myself a Christian, so I do not want to be counted as one, though I am very glad to be a Unitarian. It's tricky.