Persons of Indian origin are the largest non-White ethnic group in the United Kingdom, according to the 2021 Census data published on Tuesday.

There are 18.64 lakh UK residents who chose Indian as their ethnicity under the Asian category. This means that the number of persons of Indian origin in the UK has increased to 3.1% of the total population from 2.5% (14.12 lakh) recorded in the 2011 census.

Persons of Indian origin were also the largest among the Asian category, the data showed. Persons of Pakistani origin took the second spot with 15.87 lakh residents in Britain. Their population increased by 0.7% since the 2011 census.

The number of persons of Chinese origin grew at par with the country’s population. The percentage of their population remained constant at 0.7% from 2011 to 2021, rising from 3.93 lakh to 4.45 lakh.

The UK population (England and Wales) stood at 5.95 crore, increasing by 6.3% since the last census when it was 5.60 crore.

Meanwhile, while the number of White residents in the country rose from 4.87 crore to 4.82 crore – their percentage in the total population dropped from 86% in 2011 to 81.7% in 2021.

In the White ethnic group, 4.43 crore identified as English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British. More than 36.67 lakh persons chose the “other White” category.

Christians now less than half the population

Meanwhile, the census data showed that for the first time, less than half of the population identified as Christians. The number of Christians in 2021 stood at 2.75 crore, or 46.2% of the population, dropping from 3.32 crore, or 59.3%, in 2011.

This data is based on the answers given by 94% of the country’s population as responding to the questions about religion was voluntary.

At the same time, the number of residents opting for the “no religion” option, the second-most common response, increased to 2.21 crore, or 37.2% of the population, in 2021 from 1.41 crore, or 25.2%, as of 2011.

The number of Muslims increased to 38.68 lakh (6.5% of the population) from 27.20 lakh (4.9%) in 2011. The population of Hindus also increased to 10.32 lakh (1.7%) from 8.17 (1.5%) since the last census.