British Future

Almost three-quarters of Britons consider that the country is a less religious place now than in 1948, the last time the Olympic Games were held here, according to a new survey by Ipsos MORI commissioned for the launch of British Future.

‘British Future is an independent, non-partisan thinktank seeking to involve people in an open conversation, which addresses people’s hopes and fears about identity and integration, migration and opportunity, so that we feel confident about Britain’s future.’

Fieldwork for the survey took place online among 2,320 adults aged 16 and over (including a boosted Scottish sample of 497) between 30 November and 6 December 2011.

Results were previewed in The Observer for 8 January 2012, with fuller analysis available in Rachael Jolley and Sunder Katwala, Hopes and Fears: The British Future State of the Nation Report, 2012, which can be found at:

Asked to assess various social changes which had taken place between 1948 and 2012, 72% said that Britain had become less religious (29% strongly agreeing with the statement, and 43% tending to agree). 13% were neutral, 13% disagreed, 2% uncertain.

The 59% in net agreement compared with 85% thinking women now had more choices available to them, 67% that Britain had become less polite, 61% that it had become more tolerant of gays, 44% that parenting standards had declined, 27% that there was less national pride, and 15% that relations between ethnic groups had improved.

The other question in the poll of potential interest to BRIN readers related to the biggest challenges which Britain was perceived to face in 2012. Only 5% cited racial or religious unrest among their three main concerns, with just 1% rating it as their top anxiety.

These were identical figures to those worried about terrorist attacks, and in joint penultimate place to environmental issues. Not unexpectedly, rising prices, unemployment, and public spending cuts headed the list of worries by a big margin.


British Religion in Numbers: All the material published on this website is subject to copyright. We explain further here.

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