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MORE Blackburn with Darwen under fives live in Muslim families than Christian ones, the latest census figures show.

The statistics released this week reveal 4,448 children aged four and under lived in Islamic households in 2011.

The number with parents registered Christian was 4,020.

There were 15 under-fives in Buddhist families, 44 Hindu, 14 Sikh and four in the ‘other religion’ category.

A total of 1,885 households registered as having ‘no religion’ and 848 declined to give any faith.

In the 2001 census under fives from Christian households in the borough numbered 4,591 and from Muslim families 3,295.

Under fives from ‘no religion’ households totalled 1,172 with 1,459 from homes with no religion stated.

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “There is nothing new about these figures. These are British children born to British families.”

In 2011, in Burnley, 2,681 under fives lived in Christian households, 1,125 in Muslim families and four in Buddhist homes, 11 in Hindu ones with one each in Sikh or Jewish households. 1,561 came from ‘no religion’ families and 463 from those which declined to state their religion.

In 2001 there were 3,269 Burnley borough children under-fives in Christian households and 757 in Muslim ones.

The 2011 figures for Hyndburn showed 2,624 Christian under fives, 1,063 Muslim toddlers with 23 in households of other religions and 1,707 from families of no religion or no religion stated.

The figures for Pendle were 2,116 Christian under fives, 1,978 Muslims, 27 other religions, and 2,241 who were not religious or did not state their faith.

In Ribble Valley, the 2011 census showed 2,077 Christian under fives and 38 Muslim toddlers. Six came from families of other religions and 760 from households having no religion or declining to state it.

Rossendale’s statistics revealed 2,055 toddlers in Christian households. 323 in Muslim homes, 20 from families of other religions, and 1,931 homes with no religion or no faith stated.

Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said: “Growing numbers of young people is good for East Lancashire. The cultural identity of British Muslims is changing.”