Eastern Eye (UK)
Hindus rank high in health and jobs
SIKHS TOP IN HOME OWNERSHIP, FAITH-BASED DATA FINDS
HINDUS were the healthiest people in England and Wales and were more likely to have highlevel education than any other religious group, according to the most recent census data.
Figures from the 2021 census released last week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revealed that Sikhs (77.7 per cent) were most likely to own their own homes, while among Muslims, 45.6 per cent lived in households that owned their home.
A quarter of Muslims lived in socially rented housing – the highest for any religious group. In contrast, groups with the youngest average ages – Muslims (27 years) and those who reported “no religion” (32 years) – had the lowest percentages of people living in households that owned their home outright (16 per cent and 18.6 per cent, respectively).
Muslims were more likely to live in overcrowded homes – their bedroom occupancy being the highest for any group. They were followed by Hindus and Sikhs. In contrast, those who identified themselves as having ‘no religion’, Christians and Jews live in the least crowded homes.
Some 87.8 per cent of Hindus said they enjoyed “good or “very good” health, compared with 82 per cent of the overall population. Hindus (8.8 per cent), Sikhs (10.8 per cent) and Muslims (11.3 per cent) reported the lowest prevalence of physical or mental health conditions, well below the overall figure of 17.5 per cent for England and Wales.
The data showed that 31.8 per cent of people belonging to ‘other religion’ reported some kind of physical or mental health conditions or illnesses lasting or expected to last 12 months or more.
According to the figures based on self-declaration, Hindus had the highest percentage of ‘level 4 or above’ qualification at 54.8 per cent, compared with 33.8 per cent for the overall population. However, just 31.6 per cent of Christians reported they had a similar level of education and it was least reported by any religion.
Education of level 4 or above includes Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma, bachelor’s degree or postgraduate qualifications.
Jews and Hindus had the highest proportion of ‘managers, directors or senior officials’ and ‘professional occupations’, whereas Buddhists and Muslims had the highest percentages of people working in elementary occupations.
In 2021, Muslims had the lowest percentage of people aged 16 to 64 years in employment (51.4 per cent, compared to 70.9 per cent of the overall population) – this was attributed to high percentages of people who were students or looking after home or family in this group.
Jesse Ransley from the ONS, said, “It’s important to recognise that age profiles vary among the different religious affiliation groups in England and Wales. Those who identified as Christian, for example, tended to be older, and those who identified as Muslim younger. But this, by no means, accounts for all the differences in life outcomes for people of different religious affiliations we see in today’s analysis, with some stark inequalities evident.”
The ONS data also showed that while 8.9 per cent of the overall population for England and Wales provided unpaid care, those who identified as Hindu and as Muslim were the most likely to say they did not provide any unpaid care.