Study finds that majority of people in Scotland have no religion

(Reuters/Darren Staples)A man throws water into a flooded street in Dumfries, Scotland, December 30, 2015.

A study on social attitudes has found that more than half of Scotland's residents at present have no religion.

Based on the findings of the Scottish Social Attitudes survey, 52 percent of people living in Scotland say they are not religious. The number represents a significant increase from the 40 percent who gave the same answer when the survey started in 1999.

In 1999, 35 percent of the respondents said they belonged to the Church of Scotland, but the recent survey shows that the number has now fallen to 20 percent. However, Roman Catholics (15 percent), other Christian groups (11 percent), and non-Christian religious groups (2 percent), have maintained their numbers.

In addition, the survey reflects that church attendance has dropped to its lowest since 1999. Two-thirds (66 percent) of people in Scotland who say there are religious do not attend church services, up from 49 percent at the start of the research. Only 14 percent of them still attend church service weekly, down from 19 percent in 1999, the report details.

"Today's findings show that Scottish commitment to religion, both in terms of our willingness to say we belong to a religion and to attend religious services, is in decline," said Ian Montagu of the ScotCen Social Research, as quoted by The National. "However, this change doesn't appear to be affecting all religions equally. Affiliation with the Church of Scotland is in decline while levels of identification with other religions remain relatively unchanged," he added.

Meanwhile, as reported by The Scotsman, a spokesperson from the Church of Scotland said the findings of the survey do not come as a big surprise. Despite the situation, the church said it will still be there for the people whenever they are in need, the report relays.

The survey, which was published by ScotCen Social Research, was conducted from July 2015 to January 2016. A random probability sample of 1,288 respondents was interviewed as part of the study.