Two percent of young British adults identify with the Church of England, and seven in ten people under the age of 24 say they have no religion, research has revealed.
The statistics appear to predict an impending catastrophe for the established church, with affiliation already plunging to a record low among all age groups and halving since 2002.
The research from the British Social Attitudes survey reveals that even fewer Brits actually attend church services on a regular basis. Of those who say they belong to the Church of England, just one in five goes at least once a month, excluding weddings and funerals.
The proportion of people of all age groups identifying with the Church of England crashed from 31 percent in 2002 to 14 percent in 2017.
The sharpest decline was among those aged between 45 and 55, tumbling from 35 percent to 11 percent.
Younger people are significantly less likely to identify with the Church than older age groups, with evidence suggesting people rarely become involved in religion later on in life.
If current trends continue, the number of British people affiliated with the established church could be negligible with a generation.
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People over the age of 65 are most likely to say they belong to the church, but at 30 percent they still represent a minority. The proportion has fallen from 52 percent in 2002.
This older group also saw the largest increase in those saying they had no religion, jumping from 18 percent in 2002 to 34 percent last year.
The proportion of people in Scotland who say that have no religion is even higher, reaching 56 percent, with just 18 percent claiming to belong to the Church of Scotland and just quarter attending at least once a month.
Roger Harding, Head of Public Attitudes at the National Centre for Social Research, said: “Our figures show an unrelenting decline in Church of England and Church of Scotland numbers.
“This is especially true for young people where less than 1 in 20 now belong to their established church. While the figures are starkest among younger people, in every age group the biggest single group are those identifying with no religion.
“We know from the British Social Attitudes survey that people’s views are becoming more socially liberal on issues like same-sex relationships and abortion.
“With growing numbers belonging to no religion, faith leaders will no doubt be considering how to better connect to a changing society.”
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