In the lead up to Census 2016, Pagan Life Rites ran a social media campaign which encouraged those from various Pagan traditions to simply declare “Pagan” in the “Other” box for the question on religion. This was to unify our community under one descriptor to more easily demonstrate the number of people in our community who self-declare in the Census. For reasons of prejudice, privacy and family, there will also be some who will not self-declare on the Census (within the “Not Stated” category) so the figures in this report as outlined below may not be fully representative of the size of our community. There may also be persons of Pagan faith who may not define their spiritual path as a “religion” and so may opt for the “No Religion” category, which means that not all of those opting for this descriptor in the Census are Atheists or Humanists.
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In today’s report focusing on the data for this question we can see that there is a 39.1% increase in the number of people who opted for “Other Religion.” This brings the total number of this cohort to 97,700. The top three counties for this category are Dublin (122,079 / 24%), Cork (23.958 / 29.2%), and Galway (12,601 / 27.7%) with Kildare following close behind.
If you go to the data tables and run reports for religion selecting “Pagan/Pantheist” you will find that the total number of those who identified as such has increased by 40.5% bringing the total number to 2,645, an increase of 762 declarations. 1,913 of these were Irish nationals with UK nationals being the next largest cohort to declare (340). 1,209 were male (43% increase since 2011) and 1,436 were female (38.3% increase since 2011).
While a county breakdown for “Pagan/Pantheist” is not yet available from the CSO, the figures do show that our community is slightly larger than the Jewish community which currently sits at 2,557 declarations. We can also see that declarations of Catholicism have dropped from the 2011 figure of 84.2% to 78.3% in 2016. Of interest to us, given the above, are declarations of “No Religion” which have increased by 73.6% – meaning this cohort now represents almost 10% of the population – and the “Not Stated” category which has increased by 71.8%.
*“For the 2016 Census, the religion breakdown has been expanded. In 2011 the religions with a 0 figure were included in the Other Stated Religion category. The CSO attempts to capture and code all responses and have published any categories where there were 30 or more responses in 2016.”
Report chapter on religion: http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/population/2017/Chapter_8_Religion.pdf