England and Wales are becoming less white and Christian, according to new official data today 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.
But the ONS also revealed that while the ethnic make-up of England and Wales is changing, more than 90 per cent said they feel British.
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.
LESS WHITE, BUT NO LESS BRITISH
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.