What is the main religion in Scotland

After the percentage of residents of Scotland who do not profess to be part of any religious community had already risen to over 50 percent in the 2015 census, this percentage rose further in the 2016 census: to 58 percent. Among the 18-34 year olds it is 74 percent.

The development towards a life “without religion” is shared by more and more Scots. From 1999 to 2016, the proportion of Scots who stated “No Religion” in the census on the question of religious affiliation rose by 18 percentage points from 40 to 58 percent. At the same time and in parallel with this, the proportion of those who profess the Church of Scotland has decreased from 35 to 18 percent. The proportion of Roman Catholics also decreased, however, at a lower level and less (from 14 to 10 percent), while the other Christian religious communities (plus 1 percent) and non-Christian religious communities (also plus 1 percent) only showed a slight increase.

A development that can also be observed in England and Wales. In Great Britain as a whole (i.e. the United Kingdom without Northern Ireland), according to the 2016 British census, the proportion of “non-religious” people rose to 53 percent.

Age groups

A closer look at the development of the proportion of people “without religion” in different age groups shows that the increase in the proportion of “church-free” people can be seen in all four age groups.

The 18-34 age group already had a majority (55 percent) of people without religion in 1999 and this proportion has changed by 19 percentage points to 74 percent by the 2016 census.

This proportion also changes by 19 percentage points for 35-49 year-olds, while for 50-64 year-olds this change amounts to 24 percentage points (from 33 to 57 percent). Only in the over-65 age group was there no religion-free majority in 2016.

If one now assumes that the 18-34 year olds from 1999 are almost all in the group of 35-49 year olds in 2016, and one compares the values ​​from 1999 to 2016 for the former 18-34 year olds, so This shows that the share in 2016 (63 percent) is significantly higher than the share in 1999 (55 percent). This is also evident in the other age groups, even if it is less present in the oldest group.

In contrast to other societies, the population of Scotland is not 'aging' in the sense that the older are getting more and the younger are getting relatively less and less. In the age structure - with reference to the 2016 census age groups, it can be seen that the older groups each represent a lower proportion of the total population.

For the question of the proportion of people “without religious affiliation”, this means that this proportion will continue to increase. On the one hand, because the younger ones take their higher proportions of "non-religious" with them and on the other hand because this proportion increases as they grow older.

In parallel, inter alia. In addition to these developments, the proportion of humanistic weddings in 2015 exceeded the number of weddings by the Church of Scotland.