Saturday, May 18, 2013

Census 2011 - Third Release

The third release of census data provides us with a wealth of data on health, employment and housing, demographics and national identity in the North.

Some of the key points include:

  • 11% of middle aged Catholics assessed their general health as 'bad' or 'very bad' compared with 8% of middle aged Protestants.  
  • 9% of Catholics were unemployed at the time of the census as opposed to 6% of Protestants.
  • Catholics are less likely to be economically active although the gap has decreased from 4% to 0.5% since the last census.
  • 12% of Catholics live in over-crowed conditions compared with 6% of Protestants.
  • The average size of Catholic households is 2.72 persons compared to 2.41 in Protestant households
  • Protestants are more likely to live alone

In summary, Catholics in the North are in poorer health, are more likely to be un-employed and live in larger households compared with Protestants.


It was interesting to note that in the 2001 census, the 'tipping point' was age 24. At ages 24 and younger Catholics made up the majority of the population whereas at ages older than 24 Protestants made up the majority. This statistic was evident in table S306 of the 2001 census, as reflected in the graph below:

With the third release of the 2011 census, it is now possible to produce an up to date version of the graph:

In ten years the tipping point has increased by 12 years to the age of 36! Remember it is now 2013 so the tipping point will have increased a further 2.4 years to age 38.4!

We already know that since the 2001 census, the Catholic population has increased from 43.8% to 44.1% and the Protestant population has decreased from 53.1 to 48.3. With the third release, we now know the Catholic electorate population (aged 18 and over) is 43.8% (2001: 41.5) and the Protestant electorate population is 51.0 (2010: 56.2%).

52% of the Catholics in the North are under the age of 35 compared with 40% of Protestants. This tells us that under the age of 35, on census day there was 425,040 Catholics (817,385 x 52%) and 350,154 Protestants (875,385 x 40%), a majority of 75,000 Catholics. The split is 55/45.

National identity
  • 10% of Catholics identify as British (The Rory McIlroys of this world!)
  • 5% of Protestants identify as Irish
  • 25% of Catholics identify as Northern Irish
  • 15% of Protestants identify as Northern Irish
  • Over half of Protestants who identify as British only are over 65 years of age
  • 20% of school age Catholics have a good knowledge of Irish
  • 6% of Catholics over the age of 75 years old have a good knowledge of Irish

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Council Boundaries

The Belfast Telegraph has produced the above map of the new look council boundaries, which were proposed today.

From first impressions would suggest that of the 11 new councils, it would appear 5 will be under Nationalist control (Derry & Strabane, Fermanagh & Omagh, Mid Ulster, Newry Mourne & Down and Belfast) and 5 will be under Unionist control (Causeway Coast & Glens, Mid & East Antrim, and Lisburn & Castlereagh).

Unionists may well have control of Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon initailly but it appears to be a maginal council where the 'Others' may hold the balance of power.