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The Independent

Extra Catholics than Protestants in NI for first time since partition



Catholics outnumber Protestants in Northern Eire for the primary time for the reason that partition of the island, census figures present.

The Census 2021 figures, revealed on Thursday, present that 45.7% of the area’s inhabitants stated they had been both Catholic or introduced up as a Catholic.

The figures for Protestants (and different Christian faiths) was 43.5% whereas 1.5% had been from non-Christian religions.

Northern Eire had a big Protestant majority when it was established in 1921 as a part of the partition of Eire.

  • 2001 – 44%
  • 2011 – 45%
  • 2021 – 45.7%

The final census, in 2011, recorded 48% of the inhabitants as being both Protestant or introduced up Protestant, down 5 share factors on 2001.The Catholic inhabitants stood at 45% 11 years in the past, up one share level on 2001.

The 2021 Census confirmed 9.3% of the inhabitants belonged to no faith – up from 5.6% in 2011.

The publication of the census historically prompts debate over what the figures imply for the constitutional way forward for Northern Eire.

Some could draw a hyperlink between the non secular breakdown and public opinion on the potential reunification of Eire.

Others view non secular affiliation as a crude metric to measure sentiment on the constitutional query, insisting that being a Protestant or Catholic doesn’t essentially translate into unionist or nationalist politics.

In that respect, extra emphasis could also be positioned on the census figures on nationwide id.

  • 2001 – 53%
  • 2011 – 48%
  • 2021 – 43.5%

Census 2021 confirmed that 31.9% stated they had been “British-only” and eight% deemed themselves “British and Northern Irish”.

The proportion of the inhabitants that stated they had been “Irish-only” was 29.1% whereas these figuring out as “Northern Irish-only” was 19.8%.

In Census 2011, when the query on nationwide id was included for the primary time, 40% stated they’d a British-only nationwide id, 25% stated they had been Irish-only, and 21% considered their id as solely Northern Irish.

The Census additionally confirmed a 63.5% improve within the variety of folks in Northern Eire who maintain an Irish passport.

The quantity of people that held an Irish passport rose from 375,800 in 2011 to 614,300 in 2021.

Brexit will undoubtedly have been one consider that surge, with folks looking for an Irish passport to retain EU rights misplaced when the UK left the bloc.

The variety of folks holding a UK passport in Northern Eire was a million within the newest census, down from 1.07 million in 2011.

Beneath the phrases of the 1998 Good Friday Settlement peace deal, the constitutional standing of Northern Eire may be modified solely with the consent of its inhabitants.

A Northern Eire secretary is obliged to name a referendum on Irish unity in the event that they consider there was a shift in public opinion that will point out a majority in favour of constitutional change.

Nevertheless, the 1998 peace accord supplied no element on what standards must be used to make this name.

The figures on faith and nationwide id are a part of the second spherical of knowledge being revealed from Census 2021.

The primary tranche of figures, revealed in Might, associated to inhabitants and family numbers.

They confirmed that Northern Eire’s inhabitants had risen to a document of greater than 1.9 million.

Census 2021 was carried out on March 21 final 12 months.

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