Religion has the meaning usually given to it and includes lack of religion, and Belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs (such as humanism) and includes lack of belief[1].

Generally, a belief should affect one’s life choices or the way that one lives for it to be included in the definition. The Equality Act also points out that a belief must also be worthy of respect in a democratic society and not affect other people’s fundamental rights.

Interesting facts about Religion and Belief in Fife

  • Fife has seen a decrease in the proportion of people who said that they belonged to a Christian denomination in the last ten years, from 56% in 2001 to 45.3% in 2011.
  • Fife who said that they had “No Religion” increased from 35.4% in 2001 to 46.3% in 2011.
  • Those who stated that they had “No religion”, were most common for all age groups up to 50-54, with the highest concentrations in the 0-9 and 25-34 age groups.
  • Religions in Fife include Christianity (Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic, other Christian), Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Baha’i and Judaism.

Demography

Religions in Scotland and Fife

The Census is the main source of information for detailed data on religion at national and local level. Fife shows a lower proportion than the national average of Roman Catholics, Muslims and Other religions, and a higher proportion with No Religion:

  Fife Scotland
All people 365198 5295403
% Church of Scotland 31.4 32.4
% Roman Catholic 8.5 15.9
% Other Christian 5.4 5.5
% Muslim 0.7 1.4
% Other religions 0.8 1.1
% No religion 46.3 36.7
% Not stated 6.9 7.0

Source: Census 2011 Data Explorer

Age grouping show an increasing proportion of the population stating that they had No religion up to the age group of 50-54.

  All people Church of Scotland Roman Catholic Other Christian Buddhist Hindu Jewish
Fife 365198 114773 (31.43%) 31092 (8.51%) 19757

(5.41%)

736 (0.20%) 489 (0.13%) 245 (0.07%)
Male 176943 51918 (29.34%) 14124 (7.98%) 8506

(4.81%)

353 (0.20%) 268 (0.15%) 108 (0.06%)
Female 188255 62855 (33.39%) 16968 (9.01%) 11251

(5.98%)

383 (0.20%) 221 (0.12%) 137 (0.07%)

Source: Census 2011 Data Explorer

  Muslim Sikh Other religion No religion Religion not stated
Fife 2591 (0.71%) 324 (0.09%) 1190

(0.33%)

168932

(46.26%)

25069

(6.86%)

Male 1396 (0.79%) 184 (0.10%) 466

(0.26%)

86944 (49.14%) 12676

(7.16%)

Female 1195 (0.63%) 140 (0.07%) 724

(0.38%)

81988

(43.55%)

12393

(6.58%)

Source: Census 2011 Data Explorer

Age All people Church of Scotland Roman Catholic Other Christian No religion Religion not stated
0 to 4 20775 2473 1273 603 14127 1933
5 to 9 19156 3404 1284 683 12271 1220
10 to 14 20186 4341 1493 717 12137 1226
15 4280 1003 317 146 2487 269
16 to 17 8852 2044 641 317 5190 536
18 to 19 9532 1763 795 556 5554 649
20 to 24 24141 3818 2114 1609 14338 1648
25 to 29 20802 3027 2099 926 13075 1108
30 to 34 20787 3434 2028 1052 12771 941
35 to 39 23035 4623 2063 1126 13579 1118
40 to 44 27445 7092 2518 1267 14546 1579
45 to 49 28007 9004 2745 1450 12615 1817
50 to 54 26152 9750 2532 1443 10247 1794
55 to 59 22981 9767 2066 1413 7757 1698
60 to 64 24996 12083 2118 1749 6898 1968
65 to 69 19529 10433 1628 1409 4379 1562
70 to 74 15652 8993 1318 1138 2861 1266
75 to 79 12425 7440 927 868 2076 1044
80 to 84 8730 5465 613 634 1197 790
85 and over 7735 4816 520 651 827 903
Total 365198 114773 31092 19757 168932 25069

 

Age Buddhist Hindu Jewish Muslim Sikh Other religion
0 to 4 13 31 8 256 35 23
5 to 9 14 15 9 199 28 29
10 to 14 15 31 11 176 16 23
15 4 4 2 37 3 8
16 to 17 16 7 1 80 4 16
18 to 19 25 30 24 100 10 26
20 to 24 115 63 72 248 38 78
25 to 29 82 60 7 303 34 81
30 to 34 49 67 7 310 33 95
35 to 39 77 46 19 215 33 136
40 to 44 65 38 17 160 27 136
45 to 49 71 26 16 137 17 109
50 to 54 58 22 15 138 25 128
55 to 59 53 18 10 89 8 102
60 to 64 42 9 9 34 6 80
65 to 69 18 8 3 44 4 41
70 to 74 3 5 5 26 2 35
75 to 79 11 6 6 23 0 24
80 to 84 3 3 3 9 0 13
85 and over 2 0 1 7 1 7
Total 736 489 245 2591 324 1190

Source: Census 2011 Data Explorer

Education

Educational attainment of children and young people

Data on religion in the education sector focuses on the denomination of the school and not on the religion of pupils or teachers. In September 2016, 17.8% of pupils in publicly funded schools attended a Roman Catholic school[3]. There is no further data at local level.

Modern Apprenticeships (MA)

MA equality opportunity monitoring covers Disability, Gender and Ethnicity, there is no data collected on sexual orientation and religion of Modern Apprentices in Scotland.

Work

Employment

Similar to education, there is no dedicated local data on religion and employment conditions at local level at this time. At national level a change over the past year (2016) in employment rates +20.6% for Buddhist and of -19.3% for Hindu followers.

Christian Buddhist Hindu Muslim
Rate Level Rate Level Rate Level Rate Level
2004 72.8% 1,915,300 58.6% 4,900 64.7% 4,000 50.6% 17,900
2005 73.1% 1,906,600 57.4% 3,500 67.1% 3,900 48.8% 16,600
2006 73.8% 1,904,700 60.5% 4,800 83.4% 4,900 51.7% 22,600
2007 73.8% 1,902,300 64.6% 4,400 72.8% 7,100 60.1% 21,400
2008 73.7% 1,857,900 56.8% 5,100 58.2% 6,600 51.8% 16,400
2009 72.4% 1,793,000 61.2% 5,700 62.8% 9,200 49.2% 24,600
2010 71.7% 1,753,300 71.5% 7,800 73.5% 9,800 46.1% 21,300
2011 70.0% 1,443,600 67.7% 7,100 74.0% 9,800 50.5% 19,100
2012 70.1% 1,396,900 60.7% 6,400 64.8% 10,000 52.8% 23,700
2013 71.1% 1,340,500 59.8% 6,800 74.7% 6,500 42.8% 19,900
2014 72.5% 1,283,700 62.0% 7,500 81.9% 13,000 53.8% 28,900
2015 72.4% 1,267,300 47.9% 3,900 81.1% 12,500 49.7% 25,300
2016 72.8% 1,205,600 68.5% 3,700 61.9% 9,700 50.5% 33,800
Change:
On year 0.5 -61,700 20.6 -200 -19.3 -2,800 0.8 8,500

 

Other No religion All
Rate Level Rate Level Rate Level
2004 68.2% 20,800 73.5% 465,900 72.6% 2,430,000
2005 72.2% 22,100 73.8% 500,300 73.0% 2,454,600
2006 72.7% 22,300 74.8% 538,900 73.7% 2,500,200
2007 71.7% 26,800 75.1% 563,900 73.9% 2,528,400
2008 72.1% 25,900 74.4% 621,300 73.6% 2,534,600
2009 66.6% 28,500 72.8% 635,500 72.0% 2,497,700
2010 66.0% 31,800 70.6% 653,300 71.0% 2,479,700
2011 65.4% 32,200 71.9% 935,600 70.5% 2,476,300
2012 67.5% 36,700 72.0% 1,003,100 70.5% 2,481,500
2013 63.6% 40,100 71.6% 1,075,600 70.8% 2,494,300
2014 67.0% 51,900 73.5% 1,170,600 72.6% 2,557,700
2015 70.1% 57,200 74.8% 1,192,600 73.1% 2,577,300
2016 69.2% 51,700 74.2% 1,265,200 72.9% 2,579,700
Change:
On year -0.9 -5,600 -0.6 72,600 -0.1 2,400

Source: Regional Employment Patterns in Scotland Statistics from the Annual Population Survey 2016

Living Standards

Housing

As for education, there is no dedicated data on religion and housing conditions for the local level at this time. A very rough approximation may be possibly through ethnicity due to the strong correlation between race and religion.

Health

Health outcomes

The 2011 census does not directly report on the self-assessed health by religion, but some approximation may be had by the 2001 census. Muslim and Sikh women were more likely than women in other groups to report poor health, though the number of respondents in older age groups was small and the figures in these groups should be interpreted cautiously. Muslim, Roman Catholic and Sikh men were more likely than men from the general population to report poor health.

Age group (years)
Religion Gender 0 – 15 16 – 29 30 – 49 50 – Pensionable age Pensionable age – 74 75+ All people
Church of Scotland Male 98.7 97.1 92.7 83.5 82.0 75.8 89.6
Female 98.9 96.6 91.7 85.6 83.5 72.5 88.2
Roman Catholic Male 98.4 95.9 89.7 74.4 72.4 67.0 87.8
Female 98.7 95.5 88.4 76.9 73.6 64.0 86.2
Other Christian Male 98.7 94.4 86.9 82.3 76.0 78.3 90.9
Female 98.8 95.1 89.2 82.5 82.9 70.0 88.3
Buddhist Male 99.2 94.4 86.9 82.3 76.0 78.3 88.7
Female 98.0 95.1 89.2 82.5 82.9 70.0 89.7
Hindu Male 99.1 98.2 96.7 86.6 81.3 56.7 95.0
Female 98.5 98.2 93.5 85.3 67.2 47.1 93.1
Jewish Male 98.4 98.2 92.4 86.4 84.0 71.0 89.3
Female 98.7 94.8 92.0 86.0 84.1 68.4 86.5
Muslim Male 98.5 96.5 90.9 71.2 68.2 63.8 92.5
Female 98.2 95.9 86.2 63.9 52.9 56.2 90.2
Sikh Male 98.8 97.8 89.7 75.7 72.1 54.8 91.6
Female 98.8 97.2 87.0 66.5 61.2 66.3 88.7
Another Religion Male 98.3 94.8 89.9 81.8 76.1 70.3 92.0
Female 98.2 93.0 86.1 77.5 77.7 71.0 88.4
No Religion Male 98.4 96.6 93.0 84.3 79.9 72.7 92.9
Female 98.7 95.8 91.5 84.4 80.5 69.5 92.6
Not Answered Male 99.3 95.7 90.7 80.9 76.0 78.0 91.8
Female 99.4 95.5 90.5 81.4 77.3 78.8 90.8
All Religion Groups Male 98.6 96.6 92.2 82.3 80.1 74.3 90.6
Female 98.9 96.0 90.9 83.7 81.2 71.5 89.2

Source: ScotPHO / GROS Census 2001 -Percentage of people who assessed their health to be ‘good’ or ‘fairly good’ in the 2001 Census in Scotland, by current religion and age

Justice and Personal Security

Conditions of detention

As at 30 June 2013 just over 4,600 prisoners (58% of the prison population) in Scotland indicated that they held religious beliefs. Of these, 93% were Christian (of various denominations), 4.4% were Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Jewish, Hindu and other religions accounted for 2.7% of the religious prison population. 3,270 prisoners (42% of the prison population) held no religious beliefs.

As Muslims accounted for around 1.2% of the Scottish population aged 15 and over, prison the proportion was over twice that at 2.5%.Prisoners indicating “other religion” also had a higher proportion of representation in prisons than among the general population:

Source: UK Prison Population Statistics
Parliament UK Number SN/SG/04334, 20 April 2017

Hate crime

There were 673 charges with a religious aggravation reported in 2016-17, 14% more than in 2015-16. This is the highest number of charges reported over the last four years, but is 2% lower than the number (689) reported in 2012-13.

In 2016-17, court proceedings were commenced in respect of 84% of charges with a religious aggravation. In total, 93% of charges reported in 2016-17 led to court proceedings. No action was taken in respect of 2% of charges.

Year 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17
Total number of charges of an offence aggravated by religious prejudice 694 896 689 591 567 592 673
Decision on how charge will proceed
  Court proceedings 86% 87% 82% 89% 86% 91% 84%
Not separately prosecuted 9% 7% 11% 6% 6% 5% 8%
Direct measures 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 4%
Referred to Children’s Reporter 0% 1% 2% 0% 1% 1% 0%
No action 3% 4% 3% 4% 6% 2% 2%
Awaiting decision 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1%

Source: COPFS (2017) Hate Crime in Scotland 2016-2017 p9

The number of religiously aggravated charges reported, at 673[4], is 14% higher than in 2015-16 and at the highest level since 2012-13.

Source: COPFS (2017) Hate Crime in Scotland 2016-2017

 Comparing across the categories of hate crime, in 2015-2016, 245 people were convicted with Religious aggravations across Scotland, a change of +2%, which compares to +70% in disability and +-13% in Transgender aggravations. There is no further local breakdown at this time:

2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 % change 2014-15 to 2015-16
All aggravators 10,040 10,481 12,294 13,751 13,823 1%
Domestic 8,877 9,292 11,077 12,440 12,374 -1%
Racial 626 696 699 702 761 8%
Religious 370 272 256 241 245 2%
Sexual orientation 155 194 227 320 368 15%
Disability 9 21 30 40 68 70%
Transgender 3 6 5 8 7 -13%

Source: Criminal Proceedings in Scotland 2015-16

Table 12: People convicted with an aggravator recorded against the main charge

Participation

Political and civic participation and representation

Across Scotland, the level of applicants who declared a non-Christian religion or belief is low. The 2016 figure (4.7%) was slightly higher than in the preceding four years, where the level ranged from 2.6% (in 2013) to 4.2% (in 2012). Of those appointed, the proportion belonging to this group was between 3% and 4% from 2012 to 2015, but fell to 2.0% in 2016, there is no further local breakdown available at this time[5].

Social and community cohesion

There is not enough data to determine strength of feeling of belonging to community by each religion group in Fife at this time (SHS 2016) but national figures are available for ethnicity. 21% people from minority ethnic groups rate ‘Very Strongly’ the strength of belonging community, compared to 35% overall. With 43% of this group rating belonging as ‘Fairly Strongly’, this is consistent with the overall population profile, however 25% of minority ethnic groups rate this as ‘Not Very Strongly’, which is significantly higher than the national average of 16%.

Very strongly Fairly strongly Not very strongly Not all strongly Don’t know
Fife 2016
Gender
Male 38 37 19 5 0
Female 30 43 18 7 1
Ethnicity
White 35 40 18 6 1
Minority ethnic groups * *
All 34 40 18 6 1
Scotland 2016
Gender
Male 33 43 18 6 1
Female 37 42 15 5 1
Ethnicity
White 35 42 16 5 1
Minority ethnic groups 21 43 25 7 4
All 35 42 16 5 1

Source: Scottish Household Survey (2016) LA Tables

Table 4.17: Strength of feeling of belonging to community

[1] EHRC (March 2017) Equality Act 2010 – Handbook for Advisors [Scotland] p8

[2] To access original data, visit Census 2011 Data Explorer, select Topic: Ethnicity, Identity, Language and Religion, select table: DC2107SC Religion by sex by age, then select Fife area

[3] Pupil Census Supplementary Data, Table 1.15

[4] COPFS (2017) Hate Crime in Scotland 2016-2017 Table 2a

[5] Public Appointments in Scotland 2016 Diversity Analysis Report – March 2017