It is very important that people answer the question on religion, despite the fact that it is an optional one. We understand that people’s beliefs may be personal and private and we respect the right of people to refuse to answer the question. However, we strongly advise people to tick the ‘No Religion’ box because:
- It is important that the Census generates accurate figures. It is used to legitimise resource allocation and policy. The more people tick the ‘No Religion’ box, the less inaccurate ‘evidence’ there is that government should listen to religious groups and leaders over and above other groups within society.
- There will be no negative repercussions on you personally if you do. The Census is not interested in you personally- it is used to find general themes in the population. Although it is not anonymous, personal data will not be traced back to you in any analysis so there should be very limited issues about privacy.
- You will be affected by negative use of the data. Social policy, services and government action affects everyone.
- This may be the last Census ever held- if we get inaccurate data we may be stuck with it forever!
- An increased percentage of non-religious people will mean an increased voice for your issues as a non-religious person in society, particularly in equality work and education.