The Guardian has an interactive map of religious belief - or the lack thereof - in the UK.
The map is based on a survey by the think tank Theos which polled respondents on their beliefs about human origins. The map indicates the percentage of the population who agree with the proposition that 'evolution removes the need for God.' The map gives stats for each region of the country; the pie chart on the left is for the Eatern region - the most atheistic region of the country, where fully 4 out of 9 people say that evolution obviates a religious explanation for the existence of life.
Here are the regions of the country ranked by lack of religiosity:
1. Eastern - where 44% agree that 'evolution removes the need for God'
2. Southwest - 40%
2. Southeast - 40%
4. Northeast - 39%
5. Yorks and Humber - 38%
5. East Midlands - 38%
7. Northwest - 36%
7. West Midlands - 36%
9. Scotland - 34%
10. Wales - 32%
11. London - 31%
12. Northern Ireland - 28%
London's low ranking is a bit of a shocker. Could it be the large immigrant population there importing beliefs from more devout corners of the globe?
It's interesting to compare this map to the map of atheism in the US. The most obvious thing to note is that the US is way more religious than the UK. The two maps aren't 100% comparable. In fact, neither map directly depicts self-reported atheists as such: the US map shows "non-religious" population, and this UK map shows those who choose belief in evolution over belief in God, when given the choice. But those are both pretty good proxies for atheism/agnosticism. And a comparison shows that the most religious regions of the UK barely approach the least religious regions of the US: only the states of Vermont (34%) and New Hampshire (29%) have more non-believers than the most religious region of the UK, Northern Ireland (28%).
But none of that is too surprising. What I find more interesting is a possible correlation between the UK and the US. The most religious regions of the UK are Scotland and Northern Ireland. Those happen to be the source regions for the Scots-Irish who populated the the American South as early as the early 18th Century and contributed much to the development of the culture of that region, which is now the most religious in the US. Of course, the South is far more religious than Northern Ireland or Scotland is today; but could the relative strength of religion in these areas within the context of their broader societies be causally related? Is it a function of that centuries-old cultural kinship? It seems possible.