There have been a lot of tweets going round about the You're not a Jedi page that while quite rightly saying it is better to be honest on the census, however it is also suggesting:
Every tick towards any religion, no matter if it is real or a bit of a joke (or both for that matter), gets counted towards the figures of religious people in the UK.
I fully support the need for an accurate an inclusive census as the data is used in important ways such as apportioning money. This is why despite important and worthy claims about privacy concerns and private contracts I am on board for it. But something rang untrue about the claim that Jedis were being used in order to fund religious groups. So I went to look at the numbers for the 2001 census, the ONS commentary page on the England and Wales data says:
At the time the Census was carried out, there was an internet campaign that encouraged people to answer the religion question "Jedi Knight". The number of people who stated Jedi was 390,000 (0.7 per cent of the population).
Below is the raw data pulled out of nomis and it shows that unless Jedi was characterised as a sect of Christianity or Islam anyone who put that as their religious preference was put under “No religion” or “Religion not stated” they wouldn’t fit anywhere else (unless there are only about 150,000 Hindus and they lumped them in there).
|Cell||England||Wales||England and Wales|
|T53:1 (ALL PEOPLE : ALL PEOPLE )||49,138,831||2,903,085||52,041,916|
|T53:2 (ALL PEOPLE : Christian )||35,251,244||2,087,242||37,338,486|
|T53:3 (ALL PEOPLE : Buddhist )||139,046||5,407||144,453|
|T53:4 (ALL PEOPLE : Hindu )||546,982||5,439||552,421|
|T53:5 (ALL PEOPLE : Jewish )||257,671||2,256||259,927|
|T53:6 (ALL PEOPLE : Muslim )||1,524,887||21,739||1,546,626|
|T53:7 (ALL PEOPLE : Sikh )||327,343||2,015||329,358|
|T53:8 (ALL PEOPLE : Any other religion )||143,811||6,909||150,720|
|T53:9 (ALL PEOPLE : No religion )||7,171,332||537,935||7,709,267|
|T53:10 (ALL PEOPLE : Religion not stated )||3,776,515||234,143||4,010,658|
So if you are a group who believe that statistics are being used to disproportionately support the religious over the secular I would think it would be effort better spent working on finding out how many of the 37 million who put “Christian” down on the census are doing so out of force of habit.