A Demographic, Socio-economic and Health profile of Muslims in Britain drawing on the 2011 Census.

Muslims in Numbers is a frank snapshot of the state of British Muslim life based on numbers taken from the 2011 Census. This report is the first of its kind; it is the first detailed study of the characteristics of the Muslim population emerging from the 2011 Census. It is the only comprehensive report looking at Muslims from a data perspective prepared from within Muslim civil society.

It brings forward the most recent data on Muslims in Britain, focusing on the demographic, socio-economic, and health profile of Muslims, with commentary, policy observations, conclusions, and areas for further research.

This report is the most definitive data analysis on British Muslims yet

The findings of this report are the most comprehensive and reliable for Muslims in Britain as they are derived from the best possible sample size, i.e. the most representative sample – the 2011 Census covered 94 per cent of the usually resident population of England and Wales. The report has extracted a subset of the data made available by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) relating to the Muslim population in England and Wales and its characteristics. It captures the defining characteristics of the population, who we are, how we live and what we do.

The census is unique because it is the only information source that measures these characteristics together across the whole population. The outputs are published at national, regional and local authority level. Evidence has also been drawn from other more qualitative studies and observations to supplement the quantitative profile emerging from the Census. The report covers five areas: Demographic Detail, Issues relating to Civic Life, Inequalities, Labour Market and Education, and Conclusions and Further Research.

Demographic Detail

Population & Place of Birth; Ethnic Diversity; Geographical Distribution; Age Profile; Parliamentary Constituency Population

The Muslim population in England and Wales Has increased significantly since 2001, as a result of various factors and almost half of this population is born in the UK. The age profile is skewed towards the young, with a higher than national average young population, which is a strategic asset at a time when the general proportion of senior citizens is increasing. British Muslims are an ethnically diverse group of people. Muslims are present in all regions of England and Wales, but London has the highest population of Muslims. 26 Parliamentary constituencies have a Muslim population of 20% or more, something to note as the 2015 General Election draws near.

Issues Relating to Civic Life

National Identity; English Language Proficiency; Household Type; Focus on Youth; Homeless and Prison Population

Despite more than half of Muslims being born outside the UK, a high percentage chooses their national identity as British and only some have problems speaking English. The composition of Muslim households is mostly of married couples with dependent children but there are also a surprisingly high number of lone parent families with dependent children and also one-person households. The number of Muslims in prison is a cause for concern.


Deprivation; Housing Tenure; Health & Disability

Almost half of the Muslim population lives in the most deprived areas. The data also reveals the high percentage of Muslim households that rely on social housing. The self-reported health of British Muslims is similar to that of the overall population, except for the older age group of Muslims where health deteriorates more markedly and particularly amongst Muslim females aged 65 and above. There are similar trends in the case of self-declared disability.

Labour Market and Education

Economic Activity/Inactivity; Education & Qualifications; Focus on Women; Socio-Economic Classification

Notwithstanding pockets of prosperity, there is a higher rate of unemployment and economic inactivity in the Muslim population compared to the overall population. Greater proportions of Muslim women are not in the labour market and look after the home or family. The high proportion of Muslim small employers and self-employed Muslims is an indication of entrepreneurial interests and aptitudes. Muslim communities are now comparatively better educated than a decade ago; there has been a reduction in the percentage of Muslims with no qualifications from 2001 to 2011.