Update of BRIN Sources Database

The annual update of the BRIN sources database has just taken place. This has added descriptions of 109 new statistical sources, 72 from 2011 and 37 for previous years, together with bibliographical and other enhancements to 20 existing entries.

The total number of statistical sources described in the database has now reached 2,000. The earliest of these dates from 1603, when a census of Anglican communicants, non-communicants and Roman Catholics was carried out in England and Wales.

However, the majority of entries – not far short of three-quarters – are for national sample surveys, which were made possible by the advent of public opinion polling in Britain in 1937, and which have especially mushroomed since the 1980s.

The database can be searched in multiple ways, including by specific fields such as date, geography, faith community, collection method, collection agency, as well as by subject keywords. Why not try it out at:


If you are interested in discovering sources before the mid-1980s, Reviews of UK Statistical Sources, Vol. XX (originally published in 1987 and republished, with permission, by BRIN as an e-book in 2008) remains a valuable supplement to the database.

It comprises four sections, on recurrent Christian data, non-recurrent Christian data, Judaism, and other religions. Each has its own subject index, but the PDF of the whole book, to be found in the commentary section of the BRIN website, is fully searchable.


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

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