Nearly 300,000 people living in multi-faith households across England and Wales, census reveals

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The area with the highest proportion of multi-faith households is in London

Almost 300,000 households across England and Wales are multi-faith households, according to analysis of census data.

The latest census, which took place on March 21, 2021, showed the religious make-up of the population to be more diverse than ever, with fewer than half of people describing themselves as Christian.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Within the 17.3 million multi-person households in England and Wales, 285,000 (1.6%) were recorded as having at least two different faiths.

A sticker featuring various religious symbols bedecks a Volkswagen Multivan (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)A sticker featuring various religious symbols bedecks a Volkswagen Multivan (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)
A sticker featuring various religious symbols bedecks a Volkswagen Multivan (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images) | JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images

The proportion is as high as one in 20 in some areas of London, including Hounslow and Westminster - both at 5.5% and Barnet and Harrow, with 5.1%.

Outside London, the highest figures in England are Slough in Berkshire, with 4.6% and Hertsmere and Oxford - both at 3.8%. In Wales is Cardiff (1.8%) and Newport (1.0%) were the highest.

Blaenau Gwent had the lowest proportion across England and Wales at 0.4% followed by Merthyr Tydfil, Hartlepool and Caerphilly (all 0.5%).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Reverend Richard Sudworth, the Church of England’s national inter-religious affairs adviser, said there will be “many stories of love, loyalty and mutual care across religious difference” behind the numbers.

The Muslim Council of Britain said the figures show that society is capable of “togetherness, mutual care and understanding”.

A spokesperson for the organisation said they have “always striven to bring diverse communities together in pursuit of the common good”, adding that their efforts show “Britain is a multi-cultural and religiously diverse one, a Britain in which people of all faiths and none demonstrate the capacity to come together in support of one another routinely”.

There were 81,800 households (0.3% of the total) with a combination of three or more of the religion categories on the census – for example, three different faiths, or two faiths plus the “no religion” category.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The census also suggested that nearly a third of all households in England and Wales (7.5m) followed no religion at all.

A 17-year-old student, from Stratford-upon-Avon, said living in a household of two religions has given her the insight to teach people about her faith while also understanding theirs.

Bea Baldwin practices Judaism along with her father while her mother is a Christian.

She said: "I think it shows if you are willing to educate yourself, everyone can live in unison without issue."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ms Baldwin said that growing up in a multi-faith household broadened her view: “I definitely had a bigger insight into the world of everybody surrounding me. That was always intriguing because they wouldn’t understand things that I would.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.