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article imageJedi the most popular alternative religion in the UK

By Anne Sewell     Dec 12, 2012 in World
While its popularity has waned just a little over the years, "Jedi" is still the most popular alternative faith in the United Kingdom, and still does well among the more traditional religions.
In the 2011 census, under the "Other Religions" category in England and Wales, "Jedi" came up tops, and also took seventh place among the major world religions.
Reportedly the 2011 census was held on Sunday, March 27, 2011, and is based on data from 26 million households. In England and Wales, the census it is carried out every ten years by the Office for National Statistics, dating back to 1801.
Figures show that the number of Jedi Knights has, in fact, nearly halved in the last decade, as in 2001 there were 390,127 followers and only 176,632 in 2011. However, despite the drop in numbers, Jedi remains the top alternative faith, and ranks seventh place overall after Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism.
Going into percentages, followers of "The Force" actually represent 0.31% of all people in England and Wales. They probably need to do another remake of the popular series of films.
The figures from the census also reveal that people are generally moving away from religion, with 13.8 million refusing to identify with any faith at all, and selecting the "no religion" box, and 29,267 ticking the box to say they are atheists.
Of the other alternative religions, 6,242 people are members of the Heavy Metal religion (set up by Metal Hammer magazine in 2010).
Of other non-mainstream faiths, the numbers showed 7,906 Rastafarians, 56,620 Pagans, 39,061 Spiritualists, 2,418 Scientologists and 20,288 Jainists (an Indian religion that teaches non-violence towards all living beings).
Representing the Far East, small numbers of people stated that they are Taoist, Shintoism and Confucianists. 588 people listed themselves under African religions too, checking "Traditional African Religion" and 208 listing "Vodun".
Overall, more than 4 million decided not to state any religion at all.
A chart showing all the results of the 2011 census can be viewed here.
Besides the religion issue, census figures also showed that diversity amongst residents is becoming more prevalent, with 86% of residents in England and Wales classifying themselves as white, which is down from 91.3% in the last census.
London is showing itself to be the most cosmopolitan city in the UK, with 45.8% of residents ticking the "white British" box, 37% saying they were born abroad, and 24% who are not UK citizens at all.
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