Six out of ten Scots now say they have no religion

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

THE proportion of Scots who say they have no religion has reached a new high, a survey shows.

The latest Scottish Social Attitudes survey found that nearly six in 10 (58%) describe themselves as having no religion, up from 40% in 1999.

The survey, carried out by ScotCen, revealed that those aged 18-34 were the least likely to be religious, at 74% compared to 34% of those over 65.

The Church of Scotland has been hardest hit by the drop in religious affiliation, with just 18% saying they belong to the Kirk compared to 35% in 1999.

The proportion of Roman Catholics (10%), other Christian affiliations (11%) and non-Christian religious people (2%) in Scotland has remained relatively stable over the same period.

Ian Montagu, researcher at ScotCen, said “The decline in religious identity in Scotland has been most keenly felt by the Kirk as fewer and fewer people choose to describe themselves as Church of Scotland by default.

“As each generation coming through is consistently less religious than the last, it is hard to imagine this trend coming to a halt in the near future.

“However, if the Kirk is able to push through liberalising measures such as allowing ministers to oversee same-sex marriage ceremonies, it is possible that its appeal may broaden somewhat to younger, more socially liberal Scots.”

The survey interviewed a representative random probability sample of 1,237 people between July and December 2016.