Faith by numbers

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Summary

Worldwide

UK

London

Tower Hamlets

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Summary

Attempts are often made at estimating the number of adherents to the various faiths. Questions are put in national censuses, polls are taken, attendance at churches, mosques, synagogues, etc are recorded. Followers of a particular religion may estimate generously when contemplating their own faith. People understand different things by faith and religion and someone that self-identifies as Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish may not be seen that way by someone else that self-identifies to the same religion. All these difficulties aside estimates can be and are made and probably give a good rough guide to the actual breakdown. Obviously figures for a large population (for example the world) are a lot more open to error than figures for a smaller population (for example Tower Hamlets). Here are some figures to give you a rough idea as to the way people self-identify in the world, the UK, London and Tower Hamlets:

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Worldwide

Christianity and Islam are the two biggest faiths in terms of followers worldwide. If you were to take 10 people at random from the planet as a whole, the chances are 3 would identify as Christian, 2 as Muslim, 1-2 as having no faith, 1-2 as Hindu and the final 2 would identify as one of a vast number of religions.

Estimated worldwide adherents to different faiths

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The UK

The majority of people in the UK identify themselves as Christian. By far the biggest group after Christians are those with no faith, followed by Muslims who make up about 3% of the population nationally.

Data from 2000 census

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London

When we look at London the relative order of the faiths is pretty much the same but the proportions have changed.

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Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets differs markedly from the UK as a whole, and even London. Christians and Muslims are equally represented and there is also a sizable non-religious minority.