Census reveals more about the North West

Data from the census has revealed more about the North West Photo: PA Images

Around one in four people now classify themselves as having no religion, the 13 local authorities with the highest proportions of the population reporting to be Christian being in the North West.

The highest proportion is in Knowsley, Merseyside, at 80.9%.

Around the country, those ticking the box for no religious affiliation rose from 14.8% in 2001 to 25.1% in 2011 with the Christian category - including Church of England, Catholic and all other Christian denominations - falling from 71.7% over the same period to 59.3% of the population.

There are now 14.1 million people of no religion in England and Wales, compared with 7.7 million a decade ago. But Christianity still remains the largest religion at 33.2 million, or nearly six out of 10 people, in spite of registering a fall of just over four million in the last decade.

The data showed a rise in the number of Muslims, with the proportion of the population that was Muslim in 2011 standing at 4.8%, or 2.7 million, up 2% from 2001.

Christians formed the majority religion across most areas of England and Wales. In more than nine out of 10 areas, the proportions of the population who were Christian was more than 45%.

Christianity was the largest religion in all local authorities except Tower Hamlets in east London, where there were more people who identified as Muslim.

Tower Hamlets had the lowest proportion of the population reporting a Christian affiliation at 27.1%, with Leicester, Camden, Redbridge, Harrow and Hackney all with proportions under 40%.

The proportion of people identifying with Christianity decreased in all local authorities in England and Wales over the last decade, with Kingston upon Hull registering the largest drop at 16.8%.

The leading local authority for stating no religious affiliation was Norwich, at 42.5%, closely followed by Brighton and Hove, at 42.4%.