|Thursday February 13, 01:13 PM|
More Jedis Than Jews In UK
There are more Jedis than Jews in the UK according to the results of the 2001 Census. Seven people in every thousand in England and Wales gave their religion as Jedi in the Census - nearly 400,000, compared to 260,000 who said they were Jewish.The Jedi 'religion' was born in the Star Wars movies, where some adepts form a priestly caste. It is the opposite to the evil Darth Vader, master of the dark side of the Force and scourge of the Jedi.
But it is thought that an internet campaign coupled with the Census form, led to what appears to be a burgeoning new religion.
The Census form's question on religion - the only question where a response was not compulsory - offered a series of tick-boxes for the major religions in the UK.
There were tick boxes for religions such as Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh; a tick-box for 'none' and a free space to write in 'any other religion'.
This was the first time a religion question was included in a Census.
A campaign on the internet had wrongly claimed that Jedi would receive official government recognition as a religion if enough people quoted it on their Census forms.
Just over 390,000 of the 52,000,000 people in England and Wales wrote Jedi on the form.
The Jedi response was most popular in Brighton and Hove, with 2.6% of Census respondents quoting it, followed by Oxford at 2%, Wandsworth and Cambridge each with 1.9%, and Southampton and Lambeth in London each with 1.8%.
But the Jedi religion was least popular in Easington, on the north-east coast of England between Sunderland and Hartlepool, where it was quoted by only 0.16% of respondents.
John Pullinger of the Office for National Statistics, said: "Whatever its motive, the Jedi campaign may have worked in favour of the Census exercise.
"Census agencies worldwide report difficulties encouraging those in their late teens and twenties to complete their forms.
"We suspect that the Jedi response was most common in precisely this age group. The campaign may well have encouraged people to complete their forms and help us get the best possible overall response."
But Jedi is still a minority religion in the UK, with just over 37 million people (72%) giving their religion as Christian.