Citizenship Survey, 2008-09 – Religion

On 14 September the Department for Communities and Local Government published online 2008-09 Citizenship Survey: Race, Religion and Equalities Topic Report by Chris Ferguson and David Hussey. It comprises a PDF document of 113 pages plus 105 statistical tables in Excel format. The report can be downloaded from:

The Citizenship Survey is now conducted in annual cycles by face-to-face interview among a representative sample of adults aged 16 and over in England and Wales, including an ethnic minority booster sample. 14,917 interviews were conducted by NatCen between April 2008 and March 2009.

Four sub-topics are considered in the new report:

  • Race: chapter 2 and tables 1-14
  • Religion: chapter 3 and tables 15-58
  • Racial and religious harassment: chapter 4 and tables 59-88
  • Equalities: chapter 5 and tables 89-105

However, all of the chapters and a majority of the tables contain some content on religion.

The report is naturally too substantial to lend itself to extensive review here. By way of a taster, the following key findings have been abstracted from the executive summary:

  1. 82% reported having a religion, while 18% had none
  2. 80% of Muslims actively practised their faith, against 70% of Hindus, 66% of Sikhs and Buddhists and 32% of Christians
  3. The proportion of people who thought that there was more religious prejudice in Britain today than there was five years ago decreased, from 62% in 2007-08 to 52% in 2008-09
  4. Muslims were the group most commonly identified as experiencing both increases and decreases in religious prejudice; 88% of people who said that religious prejudice had increased identified Muslims
  5. 39% of people said that the Government was doing about the correct amount to protect the rights of people belonging to different religions; 26% thought it was doing too much and 27% too little
  6. 82% of people who thought that religious rights were protected too much mentioned Muslims in this context, while 52% of people who thought that religious rights were protected too little also mentioned Muslims
  7. 94% of people who said that they actively practised their religion felt that they could practise their religion freely in Britain
  8. 18% of people who had a religion said that their religion affected where they lived, 10% where they worked, 14% who their friends were, and 30% the school they sent their children to
  9. 17% of people from ethnic minority groups said that racial or religious harassment was a very or fairly big problem in their local area, compared with 8% of white people; 17% and 3% respectively had actually experienced harassment
  10. As in 2005 and 2007-08, the two groups mentioned most frequently as experiencing more racial prejudice were Asian people and Muslims (mentioned by 39% and 37% respectively)

Also published recently (on 2 September) was the technical report on the 2008-09 Citizenship Survey. At 417 pages, it is not for the faint-hearted! See:

Previously published were topic reports on volunteering and charitable giving; empowered communities; and community cohesion. Each has some religious content. For introductions to these, see the earlier BRIN posts at:

The survey obviously affords plenty of scope for secondary analysis. For those interested in pursuing this, the dataset is already available at ESDS as SN 6388. See:

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

This entry was posted in Official data, Survey news and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.