Religious Affiliation Counts in the Census

27th April 2001

Census 2001 – Gathering facts to make a fairer societyReligious Affiliation Counts in the Census

Sunday 29th April is an historic occasion for the faith communities across Britain. As people complete their Census forms, for the first time in England, Scotland and Wales, they will be invited to answer a question about religious identity.

The main faith communities in this country (Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Zoroastrian) all support the religious question in the Census. They are looking to the Census to give them a full and accurate picture of the size and distribution of different religious communities so that proper provision can be made to meet their needs. All religious groups are hoping that everyone will answer it, indicating whether or not they have a religious affiliation, and if so what it is.

The MCB Secretary General said, ” It is absolutely vital that members of the Muslim community tick the question on Religious Affiliation. It is an unprecedented opportunity, which will pave for they way for proper provision of public services, for the Muslim community in areas such as education, health, housing and employment. Most important of all it will enable allocation of resources and monitoring of discrimination”.

The information on religious affiliation is essential if the needs of different faith communities are to be properly met across Britain.