Welcome to British Religion in Numbers

British Religion in Numbers is an online religious data resource.

Numbers aren’t just for statisticians. People want to visualise and understand data for work, for study, for general interest, or to settle a debate: how large? how many? how typical?

British society has changed in many ways since the Second World War, and religious change is a major example. There is much public discussion of such issues as how secular Britain really is, how religiously diverse, whether people see political and religious identities as conflicting, and how polarised religious views actually are.

Religious data is also important for decision-making by local authorities, central government and other public bodies. Religion may have a role in supporting civic life. Religion may affect lifestyle and health, where people choose to live, and what opportunities are available to them.

To help answer such questions, quantitative data – from measures of observed behaviour or social surveys – is critical. A great deal of historical and contemporary data has been collected: BRIN aims to make it accessible to researchers of all backgrounds.

In particular, BRIN provides:

A comprehensive searchable database of religious data sources

We catalogue the full range of statistics on faith in Britain, in a searchable database:

  • government data sources
  • opinion polls
  • historical faith community sources.

Figures, maps and charts

We host a selection of maps and charts, illustrating religion in present-day Britain and religious change over time.

Written guides to understanding religious data

We provide guides on how to use and interpret religious statistics – for example, comparing different religious categories, change over time, or understanding how the way that data is collected by government or organisations might affect the results. There is also a detailed history of British religious statistics, and an overview of the British religious landscape to put the evidence in context.

BRIN is hosted at the University of Manchester and was originally (2008-10) made possible by the sponsorship of the Religion & Society Programme. Religion & Society was funded by two publicly-funded UK Research Councils: the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Since 2014, BRIN has been a designated British Academy Research Project.

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