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Census shows ‘No religion’ is now the majority in Aberdeenshire


By David Porter

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For the first time in Scotland’s Census a majority of people in both Aberdeenshire and Scotland as a whole have said they had no religion, according to a new report released by National Records of Scotland (NRS).

Nationally a total of 51.1 per cent in Scotland’s Census 2022 responded ‘no religion’ – up from 36.7 per cent in 2011. ‘No religion’ was the most common response in almost every council area in Scotland.

Statistics released from the 2022 census show the breakdown of religious background across Aberdeenshire.
Statistics released from the 2022 census show the breakdown of religious background across Aberdeenshire.

From a total of 263,723 responses in Aberdeenshire, the breakdown by number and percentage of the overall total was as follows -

No Religion 155,494 (58.9); Not Stated 15,405 (5.8); Roman Catholic 11,343 (4.3); Other Christian 16,637 (6.3); Buddhist 520 (0.19) Hindu 446 (0.16) Jewish 96 (0.03); Muslim 1172 (0.4); Sikh 66 (0.03); Pagan 833 (0.3); Other Religion 493 (0.17)

Across Scotland as a whole, 20.4 per cent responded ‘Church of Scotland’, down from 32.4 per cent in 2011. The next largest religious groups were ‘Roman Catholic’ (13.3per cent ), ‘Other Christian’ (5.1per cent ) and ‘Muslim’ (2.2per cent ).

Director of Census Statistics Jon Wroth-Smith said: “These statistics give a fascinating insight into religion, ethnicity, national identity and language use across Scotland and how they have changed over the years. It is exciting to publish the first of topic releases and this, along with our other census data to come, will help local and central government, businesses and charities to plan services in the years ahead.”

The Humanist Society Scotland stated that the figures released today by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show that Scotland is a secular country. For the first time, less than 40% of Scotland’s population identifies as Christian with CEO Fraser Sutherland commenting: “When the current census survey was sent round in 2022, we encouraged respondents to be honest about their beliefs if they were non-religious. These results bear out the fact that more people feel confident and open about expressing an atheist, secular, or agnostic worldview than ever before. We want to build on the momentum for change that these figures show, and continue to fight for changes in Holyrood and across the country that reflect our humanist values: secularism, bodily autonomy, LGBT+ inclusion, and an end to religious privilege.”


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