Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | December 17, 2012

2011 Census Results for Druids

From a painting by the Swedish botanist C. A. M. Lindman (1856–1928)

From a painting by the Swedish botanist C. A. M. Lindman (1856–1928)

The 2011 Census for the UK has just published their results for the Religion category, and those who stated their religion as ‘Druid’ comes out at 4189. Some other figures to enable a comparison: 56,620 selected ‘Pagan’, 23,566 as ‘Mixed Religion’ (an interesting category). ‘Wicca’ came out at 11,766.
Jokers had their day with 176,632 listing ‘Jedi Knight’ and 6,242 listing Heavy Metal as their religion.
Interestingly, Druidry comes out on a par with the Zoroastrians at 4105 and just behind the Baha’i’s at 5021. So although the figure is small, it shows that Druidry is in the same company as these well-respected minority religions in the UK.
I think we can apply some ‘rough science’ to the numbers for Druidry. Let’s deduct 10% for people who put it down as a joke (NB You had to actively write down your religion, ‘Druid’ wasn’t listed as an option, which would have encouraged more silliness). Then let’s add say 10% of those who selected Pagan, who may have put Pagan-Druid for example, and been counted as Pagans.
Then let’s add another 10% for those Druids who do not consider their path a religion (and often dislike the term religion), but see Druidry instead as a spirituality, a philosophy, a magical path or way of life.
Finally, let’s add another 10% of our accumulating total for those who entered ‘Mixed Religion’ because they combine their Druidry with Wicca or Buddhism, for example (and there are many who do that). Here’s what we get:
4189 – 418 = 3771 + 5662 = 9433 + 943 = 10,376 + 1037 = 11,413
Let’s then shave off 413 for statistical error (like my maths?!) so we can say with some confidence: ‘There are around 11,000 Druids in Britain today!’
Some supporting evidence that suggests this may be a fairly accurate figure: in 2003 Professor Ronald Hutton from Bristol University estimated around 6,000 people practised Druidry as a spiritual path in Britain, and in the almost ten years since his estimate, Druidry has undoubtedly grown in popularity. By 2012 5,295 people in the UK were registered as members of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, and doubling that figure seems a reasonable way of guessing at the right number.
In the final analysis, perhaps the most accurate way of stating the situation would be to say: ‘There are probably between 6 to 11,000 people in Britain today practising Druidry as a religion or spirituality.’


Responses

  1. Yes, I did Like your Maths 🙂
    I did share this post in my FB page as well asin the Portuguese OBOD page.

  2. Thank you! I reckon if, with my maths, I was in charge of the economy and all government statistics, things would soon improve!

    • I am sure they would 🙂
      I am still a student at Portuguese OBOD, still only with the itroduction course, hope that soon I will go on with the full course.
      I look forward to meet you next time you will come to Portugal and visit OBOD at Casa do Fauno.
      Meanwhile I would like to show you my blog also in wordpress with some poems and other words, some are about the path or the woods.
      http://virgulasepontosetc.wordpress.com/
      The name is Vírgulas e Pontos, ect, which means Commas and Dots, etc.
      Thank you very much
      Alexandre

  3. Hmmm, very interesting! I had always guessed there to be around 10,000 Druids in the UK; though I have nothing to logically base it on. I wonder how many there are world wide…

    • Hi Dean,
      When I wrote ‘What Do Druid Believe’ in 2006 I did a little research on this, and reckoned it to be around 45-50,000 worldwide. (using a US based research of 2001 that gave Druidry 33,000 adherents in the USA)

  4. Reblogged this on Adventures and Musings of a Hedgewitch and commented:
    I wonder what US numbers really are?

  5. I just scanned the post so forgive me in advance if I am off point here. But personally, anything that counts me as being off the beaten path, taking the road less traveled, or being a horse of a different color, is good news to me. But that is intrinsically my nature. I can see why others might feel inclusion is a good option. ; )

  6. I think probably many others feel like you Lilly! So we can probably factor in another 10% for those who don’t want to be factored! 🙂 (Counting Druids is probably as impossible a task as herding cats).

  7. “Then let’s add another 10% for those Druids who do not consider their path a religion”

    I’d throw myself in that lot. Though I’m not in the UK, so it’s largely irrelevant.

  8. Hello Phillip,

    So was there any point in the Pagan Dash campaign?
    I believed this was to get the numbers up for similar Pagan traditions to compare against some of the mainstream religions.

    Bright Blessings this Alban Arthun.

    Buzzard

  9. Hm. On a side note: in American English we never add an “s” to Math. And we never take the “s” off of Mathematics except in the adjectival form, though Mathematics and Math are both perceived as singular, albeit collective, words. If we want to indicate plural, we have to say something wordy and awkward like “various branches of Mathematics” or the various mathematical equations” or “Do you like my mathematical calculations?” Maths is so much more elegant. Okay, I guess not everything we colonists did to the language was an improvement! 🙂


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