Religion and belief
In the 2011 Census most people living in Bracknell Forest reported their religion or belief as Christian (61%), the second largest group is those with no religion or religion not stated (35%), all other religious groups together make up 4% of the population.
Facts, figures and trends
The main and most reliable indicator of the religion and beliefs of all residents in an area is the national Census which was most recently conducted in 2011.
In Bracknell Forest, those affiliated with the Christian religion make up the largest group of people responding to the Census in 2011 (61%). This is a decrease of 11 percentage points since 2001 when 72% of residents stated their religion as Christian. This is the only religious group to have experienced a major decrease in numbers between 2001 and 2011.
The second largest group is those with no religion or religion not stated at 35%. This has increased from 25% since 2001. The growth of this group is also a national trend, increasing from 22% to 32% nationally.
Hinduism is the third largest and fastest growing religious group, rising from 0.99% in 2001 to 1.61% in 2011. Islam is the fourth largest religious group in the Borough, again rising from 0.68% in 2001 to 1.13%. Buddhism is the fifth largest group, having grown from 0.28% to 0.73% since 2001. Sikhism is the sixth largest group, growing from 0.19% to 0.40%. Judaism is the smallest major world religion in the Borough. The size of this religious group has remained stable at 0.16%.
Figure 1: Change in Religion in Bracknell Forest from 2001 to 2011
Source: 2001 and 2011 Census, Office for National Statistics
The decrease in the number of people with Christian religion in Bracknell Forest is comparable to the decrease nationally of 12 percentage points. The growth in Bracknell Forest of those with no religion or religion not stated (35.01%) is higher than the national figure (31.91%). Whilst the growth in all the other religious groups (2.60% in 2001 to 4.46% in 2011) is below the national growth figure (5.97% in 2001 increasing to 8.70% in 2011).
Figure 2: Religion in Bracknell Forest 2011 compared to national figures 2011
Source: 2001 and 2011 Census data, Office for National Statistics
Experian Mosaic Origins also carried out research in 2010, which reflected that whilst Christianity remains the majority religion in the Borough, Hindus are the largest religious minority group at 1.6% of the local population, followed by Muslims at 1.4% and Sikhs at 0.3%.
Figure 3 and figure 4 present the differences between the classification of religious groups in all wards across Bracknell Forest between 2001 and 2011. The percentage of people who follow no religion has increased in every ward across Bracknell and is now the dominant classification in the area. The levels of Christianity present in the town have decreased across every ward.
Figure 3: Classification of religious groups in all wards across Bracknell Forest in 2001.
Figure 4: Classification of religious groups in all wards across Bracknell Forest in 2011.
This page was created in February 2014 and last updated on 24 May 2016.
Cite this page:
Bracknell Forest Council. (2016). JSNA – Religion and belief. Available at: jsna.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/bracknell-forest-profile/demography/religion-and-belief (Accessed: dd Mmmm yyyy.)
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