The AIRO team have produced an interactive data visualization of the initial results of the Northern Ireland census 2011.  The data visualization shows the results at district and province level for religion, economic status, national identity, country of birth, and age groups.

With respect to religion the headline statistics was that the percentage of the population who self-declared themselves Catholic has risen to 45.1%, just three percent less than self-declared Protestants (48.4%).  5.6% declared no religion and 0.9% other.  However, it one looks at the data at district level it is clear that very few districts have such a near 50/50 ratio of Catholics/Protestants.  Rather, most districts have a clear religious majority.

NI census

The economic status shows that 467,805 people are in employment, but also that 10,957 people who are unemployed have never worked and 29,324 are classed as long term unemployed.  Worryingly, of those unemployed over 40 percent in all districts are long term unemployed, illustrating the difficulties of re-entering the labour force after job loss in the present recession.

38.9% of the population of Northern Ireland declare themselves to be British, 25.3% Irish, 20.9% as Northern Irish, 6.1% as both British and Irish, and 5% as other.  Clearly the declaration of British maps somewhat imperfectly onto Protestant and the relationship between religion and nationality is by no means synonymous.

More than ten percent of the population were not born in Northern Ireland. 3.6% were born in England, 2.1% in the Republic of Ireland, 2% in EU Accession countries, 2% other, 0.85% Scotland, 0.54% elsewhere in Europe, 0.14% in Wales.

The population is quite youthful with 20.9% of people aged 0-15 and 12.6% aged 16-24.  27.5% are aged 25-44 and 24.4% aged 45-64.  14.6% of the population is at retirement age or older (65+) (the EU average is 16%).

Rob Kitchin and Eoghan McCarthy

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