New research shows that 71% of people in Britain aged between 18 and 24 are non-religious, as are 53% of the population overall and 58% in Scotland.
These results are from the latest British Social Attitudes Survey, which recently released extended data on religion or belief in Britain yesterday.
One of the most striking aspects of the data is the clear drop-off between Brits older than 65, who are majority religious. For every other cohort, the non-religious are a majority. We already know from past surveys that non-religious people do not tend to ‘pick up’ religion later in life, suggesting a very tough future for religion and the Church of England in particular, whose following is down to just 3% among 18-24s.
Andrew Copson, CEO of Humanists UK discussed the data on Sky News and was quoted extensively across broadsheet, radio, and tabloid coverage of the story. He took the opportunity to promote secularism and an end to statutory privileges for religion in British society. Despite representing only 3% of young people, the Church has 26 bishops in Parliament and direct control over 20% of schools. Since 2016, more pupils are forced to pray in Church of England schools than there are people attending church services, with the modern Church increasingly focused on youth evangelism.