One in five Irish people either told census they have no religion (14%) or declined to answer (7%)

Over a million (or one in every five) Irish people either said they have no religion (14%) or declined to state a religion (7%) in last year’s census. In reality, the evidence of day to day life, including Church attendances, indicates that far more than one in five Irish people are not religious.

This continues a consistent pattern of Irish society becoming more pluralist, and the need for a secular state to protect everyone’s rights. In particular, we must remove Church control of state-funded schools, and allow conscientious atheists to become President, judge, or Taoiseach.

In today’s figures, 740,000 people (14.4%) either ticked ‘No Religion’ or wrote in atheist or agnostic. This is up from 480,000 in 2016.

Another 345,000 people (6.7%) declined to answer the religion question. Some of these might be religious, but not want to be identified as religious, but certainly not all of them.

The figure for Roman Catholics has dipped to 69%, despite a leading question that artificially inflates the number of religious responses by asking ‘What is your religion, if any?’ instead of the more neutral ‘Do you have a religion?’ or the more useful ‘Do you practice a religion?’

Atheist Ireland