A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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The new ‘nones’: the implications of ticking the‘No Religion’ census box for educators in Ireland


n recent decades every census in the Republic of Ireland has given a snapshot of the rising number of people who self-identify under the category of ‘No Religion’. In 2016, one in ten people in Ireland belonged to this group. The manner in which the data is gathered changes over time1 but the data collected is both fascinating and significant. In 2016 the census question asked ‘What is your religion?’ followed by seven tick box options. This format first appeared in 2002 when ‘No Religion’ was given as the final tick box option in the Religion section. Prior to this people simply wrote their non-religious beliefs in the box provided for religion.

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