Census shows fewer people in England and Wales describe themselves as white and under HALF are Christian for the first time
England and Wales are becoming less white and Christian, according to new official data that reveals a snapshot of modern Britain.
The number of people in the two nations identifying their ethnic group as white has fallen by around 500,000 over a decade, the Office for National Statistics said.
Some 81.7 per cent of residents in England and Wales described themselves as white on the day of the 2021 census, down from 86 per cent a decade earlier.
The second most common ethnic group was 'Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh' at 9.3 per cent, up from 7.5 per cent in 2011.
The ONS also revealed that two-thirds of Londoners now identify as being from an ethnic minority, with just 36.8 per cent of people identifying as 'white English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British'.
And for the first time since the census began almost 200 years ago fewer than half the population said they were Christian. More than a third now say they have no religion at all.
The census takes place across the UK every 10 years and provides the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in the country.
More data will be published in stages over the next two years.
Some 81.7 per cent (48.7 million) of the population of England and Wales identified as white in the 2021 census, down from 86.0 per cent (48.2 million) in 2011.
Within the group identifying as white, 74.4 per cent said they were 'English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British', down from 80.5 per cent in 2011 and 87.5 per cent in 2001.
The proportion of people identifying as Asian rose from 7.5 per cent (4.2 million) in 2011 to 9.3 per cent (5.5 million) in 2021; people identifying as black rose from 3.3 per cent (1.9 million) to 4.0 per cent (2.4 million); mixed or multiple ethnic groups rose from 2.2 per cent (1.2 million) to 2.9 per cent (1.7 million); and other groups rose from 1.0 per cent (564,000) to 2.1 per cent (1.3 million).
London remains the most ethnically diverse region of England, with 36.8 per cent of people identifying as 'white English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British', down from 44.9 per cent in 2011.
The region with the highest proportion of people identifying this way was north east England, at 90.6 per cent.
The local authorities with the highest proportion of people in 2021 identifying as 'white English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British' were Allerdale and Copeland in Cumbria (both 96.7 per cent), while the lowest were the London boroughs of Newham (14.8 per cent) and Brent (15.2 per cent).
In 10.1 per cent of households in England and Wales in 2021, two or more ethnic groups were represented, up from 8.7 per cent in 2011.