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Mar 9, 2011

Jedi knights?!

Lego Jedi - Should you put Jedi on the census?How many Jedi Knights were in the UK 2001 Census?

Over 390,000 people answered “Jedi” in the 2001 census for England and Wales and 14,000 in Scotland (a lower proportion). This is more than the number of identifying Sikhs, and more than Jews and Buddhists combined. However, this did not mean that Jedi became an official religion- it doesn’t work like that!

Why answer Jedi?

Much of the public and media discussion focused on legitimate concerns with the census, which the “Jedi” answer could be disruptively used to promote. Some reasons people answered “Jedi” include:

  • concern about how ‘religion’ data might be used
  • concern about the inclusion of a question on religion at all
  • making a statement about privacy or annoyance with interference
  • a reaction against the apparent presumption of having a religion
  • making a point about the way people tend to legitimize religion based on its antiquity or number of adherents

Should I answer “Jedi”?

Our recommendation is that if you are not religious, answer “No religion”, because at some time or place, someone will refer only to the explicit “No religion” answers, from which you will be left out if you answered “Jedi”. If you want to write Jedi as a protest against anwering the question at all, see Why should I answer the question at all?