West Devon District — Current theme: Roots & Religion

This is one of our more unusual themes, because only two censuses have ever gathered information on religion in England and Wales, and they were 150 years apart!

The 1851 Census of Religion was a separate census carried out at the same time as the main Census of Population. It assumed that everyone was Christian, and tried to find out what kind of Christians were most important in each district. It did this by counting how many people attended each church on the census Sunday. Our information has been considerably simplified from the original returns, which counted 35 different religious groups in England and Wales. One result is a large 'other' category.

In 2001, a question about religion was included among the questions in the main census for the first time ever. Except in Scotland, where there is separate information on the Church of Scotland, Catholics and 'Other Christian', the results lump all Christians together but also gathered information on Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs. People were allowed to write in other religions not included on the census form, but we have no data on the distribution of 'Jedi'.

We hold these detailed statistics for West Devon, which we graph and tabulate here:

Available datasets Period covered Variables
(number of categories)
1851 church 'attendances' 1851 Major Christian denominations in 1851 (8)
Attending all churches 1851 Total Attendances (1)

Read more about how we hold statistics here.