The naked truth: nearly 7m people in UK describe themselves as nudists, poll finds

It’s the naked truth: the biggest-ever survey into naturism in the UK has found 14 per cent of people now describe themselves as nudists or naturists.

An estimated 6.75 million people – roughly one in seven – like to lose their clothes while enjoying activities such as swimming or sunbathing, according to a new poll by Ipsos.

“It turns out that there’s a huge, hidden enthusiasm for nude recreation,” said Dr Mark Bass, the president of British Naturism. “Attitudes to nudity are changing with taboos and stigma being eroded.”

The findings may prove titillating for some but the bare facts appear to speak for themselves.

With almost 2,249 people aged 16 to 75 questioned as part of the research, it is probably the most accurate snapshot ever taken of naturism in the UK, reckons Dr Bass.

And the figure shows a huge increase in those stripping off for enjoyment since the last comparable survey was done in 2011. Back then, just six per cent of people considered themselves naturists – which was already a substantial uptick on a 2001 survey when the corresponding figure was just two per cent.

“Modern society is weighed down by a body confidence crisis and more and more people are discovering the benefits that nudity brings to mental, emotional and physical health by allowing us to reclaim ownership of our identities,” said Bass in an online statement.

Intriguingly, perhaps, the research suggested younger people were far more likely to be enthusiastic about going sans clothes than the older generations.

“Younger people really are diving into it far more than their elders have done,” said Bass. “That gives us a lot of confidence in the future. This is a newer, modern way of living that younger people are engaging with rather than just maintaining the status quo.”

He added that the findings reflected British Naturism’s own experience over the past decade with the 90,00-strong membership growing by 2.5 per cent over lockdown alone.

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