Friday, December 22, 2006

The Force

Did you know in 2001 that over 500,000 people listed their religion as Jedi (as in Jedi Knight of the Star Wars universe) in censuses around the world. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK -- people around the world are writing in "Jedi" when asked for the religious affiliation. Some poeple mistakenly believe that getting a certain number of people claiming a religion will make it "official", but this is not true (according to snopes).

A note from the Australian Bureau of Statistics notes that urging people to put int Jedi on tne 2006 census may result in fines for falsifying info on the census forms. However, this doesn't appear to have stopped people.

In Australia more than 70,000 people declared themselves members of the Jedi in the 2001 census. The Australian Bureau of Statistics issued an official press release in response to media interest on the subject.

Over 53,000 people listed themselves as Jedi in New Zealand. New Zealand has the highest per capita population of reported Jedi in the world, with 1.5% marking "Jedi" as their religion on the census - more than those marking themselves as buddhist or

In the UK, they have actually assigned Jedi its own code for reference purposes, since:

"It was confirmed prior to the census that citizens were not liable for a fine in relation to question 10 (on religion).[9] In England and Wales 390,000 people (0.7%) stated their religion as Jedi on their 2001 Census forms, surpassing Sikhism, Judaism, and Buddhism, and making it the fourth largest reported religion in the country."

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