Saturday, February 19, 2011

Registrar General Annual Report 2009

The Register Generals Annual Report for 2009 was published on 30 November 20009. It provides a wealth of information relating to the demographic make up of Northern Ireland

Information provided includes births in 2009, deaths in 2009 and as well as information on marriages, divorces and civil partnerships.

Although the report does not determine the community background of those born and deceased in 2009, appendix 2 provides details of the breakdown of births and deaths by District Council. Looking at the 2001 census, we see that Northern Ireland's 26 District Councils can be divided into three groups: majority Catholic/Nationalist, majority Protestant/Unionist and those that are evenly balanced (i.e. no community has a greater representation than 55%). Combining these two sets of figures produces the table below. As the figures used for births and deaths are related to 2009 and the figures for religous breakdown in district councils are related to 2001 the results are likely to be slightly distorted but no significantly so.

The average bith rate of the Catholic majoity areas in 2009 is 14.3 (per 1,000 population) which is 13.5% higher than the Protestant birth rate of 12.6. The average birth rate in Northern Ireland as a whole was 13.9

The average death rate in Protestant dominated district councils in 2009 was 8.1 (per 1,000 population) compared to 7.2 in Catholic majority district councils which is a greater figure by 11.1%. The average death rate in Northern Ireland as a whole was 8.1

A higher Nationalist birth rate and a higher Unionist death rate is not encouraging for those that oppose a United Ireland. The problem is compounded due to the fact that the numbers of Nationalists in the 'child-bearing cohort' (those aged between 20 and 39) is higher than the Nationalist population as a whole and the fact that Protestants account for approx two thirds of deaths each year.

These trends are consistent over the last number of years. The 2011 census will show the effects of these trends.


General Election 2011

Not suprisingly the economy dominates the campaigning of all political parties in the run up to the election to Dáil Éireann.

Fianna Fáil look set for a shattering defeat and the Green Party are in danger of returning no Dáil seats. Labour and SF look set to make big gains but the real winners will be Fine Gael.

Perhaps the best indicator of the Friday 25 February election are the bookies (money talks!). Paddy Power  have tweeted

Paddy Power: What the money says today: FG 67, FF 34, Lab 34, SF 14, Ind 13, ULA 4. No change!

And the money does not often lie. Given that to form a government 84 seats are required, it looks like FG hopes of an outright majority are doomed. A FG/Labour coalition is inevitable.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Equality Commission Monitoring Report for 2009

On 7 December 2010 the Equality Comission published its 20th Monitoring Report. This report gives us a breakdown of the numbers and percentage of Protestants and Catholics in the both the public and private sectors of the workforce. In 2009 Protestants represented 54.6% of the workforce. Catholics in the workforce stood at 45.4%. The Protestant percentage has again declined as the Catholic percentage has increased. This trend has been constant as is represented in the following graph

The reason why this graph is converging is due to the fact that the numbers of Catholics entering the workforce is significantly greater than the amount of Catholics in the overall workforce and the numbers of Protestants entering the workforce is significantly lower than their representation in the entire workforce.

The Equality Commission Report for 2009 also shows us the composition of applications to join the workforce by community background. In 2009 the Catholic percentage stood at 51.0% and the Protestant percentage was 49.0%.

For the first time ever the number of Catholics seeking employment is greater than the number of Protestants (by 10,465). As current trends continue expect further 'greening' of the workforce in the years ahead and a majority Catholic/Nationalist workforce around 2015.