The Muslim population of England is now estimated at over three million, according to official estimates — exceeding the total populations recorded for Wales or Northern Ireland in the 2011 census.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) research based on the Annual Population Survey (APS), a new a data collection method based on a “continuous household survey, comprising the Labour Force Survey (LFS) supplemented by sample boosts in England, Wales and Scotland to ensure small areas are sufficiently sampled”, indicates that the Muslim population of England and Wales increased by over 400,000 — 16 per cent — between the 2011 census and 2016.
The Muslim population in England alone is thought have reached around 3,092,000 by 2016, greater than the total populations, including Muslims and all other minority groups, recorded for Wales (3,063,456) or Northern Ireland (1,810,863) in the 2011 census, according to coverage of the research in the Daily Mail.
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If accurate, the APS data — which naturally does not account for people resident in Britain illegally, or for people who live in “communal establishments” such as prisons rather than households — would put the Muslim share of England’s population in 2016 at 5.6 per cent.
However, the impact on the country’s culture, demographics, and social cohesion is likely to be much greater than this figure would suggest, given the Muslim population has “tended to be concentrated in particular areas of England”, according to the last national census.
“In over half of local authorities the proportion of the population who were Muslim was under one per cent,” the 2011 census reported noted — but added that in areas with “the highest proportion of Muslims” — namely Tower Hamlets and Newham in London, now governed by Muslim left-winger Sadiq Khan — their share of the population was far higher, at “34.5 per cent and 32.0 per cent respectively”.
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The new ONS estimates also indicated that the rise in the Muslim population of England has been accompanied by a continuous decline of the Christian population.
Christians remain the single-largest religious group in the country, but dropped from 59.6 per cent of the population in the 2011 census to an estimated 56.6 per cent of the population in 2016 — although this is at least somewhat less dramatic than the decline recorded for England and Wales between the 2001 and 2011 censuses, which was 12 per cent.
“For England, we can see that in comparing 2011 and pooled APS data, there is a decline for the ‘Christian’ group… counteracted by higher proportions for all the other groups, with the largest increases seen for the ‘Muslim’, ‘None + Not stated’ and ‘Other’ groups,” the ONS new report observes.
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