New research shows profile of non-religious Scotland

New research published by Humanist Society Scotland, with fieldwork carried out by polling firm Survation, reveals detail of the populations religious and spiritual beliefs.


Key Findings:

  • Most people in Scotland self identify as non-religious (59%) with women being more likely to be non-religious (62%) than men (55%).
  • Most people do not believe in life after death (51%). The majority of the Scottish public also stated they did not believe in Angels (60%), Evil spirits (65%) or divine miracles from God (67%)
  • Most people never pray (53%) with 60% reporting they never attended church outside of weddings or funerals they are attending.


Most people in Scotland (59%) identify as Non-religious. The single biggest religion in Scotland is Christian (37%), with 4% relating to another faith.


Commenting on the findings Humanist Society Scotland Chief Executive Gordon MacRae said,

Gordon MacRae

“These figures show how the majority of Scotland’s population do not identify with a religion nor believe in key aspects of spiritual belief. While it is important to recognise that faith plays an important part in a minority of people’s lives, the majority do not. By all measurements Scotland is no longer a faith based country – and has not been for some time.

“This is important when it comes to the provision of public services for example, providers must ensure they recognise and meet the needs of everyone – religious or not. Too often we see non-religious people’s requests for equality being dismissed as ‘militant’ or ‘anti-religious’.

“Our schools, hospitals, local authorities and others all need to seriously consider how they don’t just take a lazy assumption of faith when that fails the majority.”

Women report being non-religious in higher numbers (62%) than men (55%).


Full research tables as supplied by Survation are available to download here.


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