UK Publishes Results of Religious Survey

The UK Office for National Statistics published a study in February that looked into various attitudes among members of religious groups and those who identify with no religion.

photo by By Chinnapong/
photo by By Chinnapong/
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  • those who identified with no religion were significantly less likely to be satisfied with their health than those who identified as Christian, Hindu or Jewish
  • prevalence of long-standing impairment, illness or disability was significantly lower among those who identified as Sikh compared with several other religious groups
  • smoking prevalence was significantly higher among those who identified with no religion than several other religious groups
  • those who identified as Jewish, Christian or with no religion reported a greater mean level of physical functioning than those who identified as Muslim according to the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12)
  • those who identified as Sikh, Hindu or Christian reported a significantly greater mean level of mental functioning than those with no religion according to the SF-12
  • those who identified as Sikh were significantly less likely than several other religious groups to be in probable mental ill-health according to the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12)

The study states: “The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) is also a self-reported assessment but, unlike the SF-12, it pertains only to mental rather than physical health. Respondents answer a total of 12 questions on anxiety and depression (including losing sleep over worry or feeling unhappy), social dysfunction (such as being able to enjoy and concentrate on activities, or the capability to make decisions and face up to problems), and loss of confidence and self-worth.”

Paola Serafino, Centre for Equalities and Inclusion, Office for National Statistics, stated that the survey “is part of a programme of work we are doing to explore inequalities in our society. The reasons for inequalities are complex, as today’s findings show, with a range of factors to be taken into account. These findings are not intended to provide definitive answers but to add to the growing evidence base on equalities.”

The Office for National Statistics states that the aims of the Centre for Equalities and Inclusion are: “to improve the evidence base for understanding equity and fairness in the UK today, enabling new insights into key policy questions.”


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The Church publishes this blog to help create a better understanding of the freedom of religion and belief and provide news on religious freedom and issues affecting this freedom around the world.

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UK Religious studies