More Catholics than Protestants for first time in Northern Ireland Census

More Catholics than Protestants for first time in Northern Ireland Census

More people in Northern Ireland are Catholics than Protestants for the first time in its 101-year history, the latest census figures show.

The census reveals that of the resident population, 45.7% are either Catholic or brought up Catholic.

The percentage of the population who are either Protestant or were brought up Protestant is 43.5%.

9.3% of people said they neither belonged to nor were brought up in any religion.

The figure for the Catholic population has increased by 0.6% since the last census in 2011, while the figure for the Protestant population has fallen almost 5% during the same period.

One of the key reasons for the decline in the Protestant population is that it is an older, aging community with higher mortality.

The figures were published this morning by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra).

Isn’t it quite something today to see Official Ireland, Sinn Fein, and every Tom, Dick and Harry warmly claiming to be ‘Catholic’ or ‘identify’ as Catholic.
Taking a brief pause from their usual activities of Abortion rights peddling, Drag Queen Story timing, and general bashing of the Church and erosion of Irish nationhood.

Their mental gymnastics is quite something to behold. More flags of convenience than the Liberian Shipping fleet. :liberia:

The population of Northern Ireland when the census was carried out in March last year was 1,903,100, an increase of 5% since 2011 and the highest figure recorded since Northern Ireland was created.

When it comes to national identity, the number who said they have a “British only” identity has fallen while those who regard themselves as “Irish only” has increased.

Those who described their identity as British only identity has fallen from 40% to 31.9%, from 772,400 in 2011 to 606,300.

40% British in 2011 down 8% to 32% today, that’s some historic drop right there.


The Brexit bonus, speeds up the process of offloading NI.
As for the religious divide, really doesn’t make too much of a difference when it comes to which “host” country will look after them better.

Passport holders

UK only 46.64%
Ireland only 26.51%
UK & Ireland only 5.49% (Is that legal?)
No passport 15.88%
Others etc…

Geography No religion
Northern Ireland 17.39%
Antrim and Newtownabbey 22.62%
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon 14.70%
Belfast 21.67%
Causeway Coast and Glens 14.99%
Derry City and Strabane 8.23%
Fermanagh and Omagh 8.21%
Lisburn and Castlereagh 23.89%
Mid and East Antrim 21.94%
Mid Ulster 7.92%
Newry, Mourne and Down 10.79%
Ards and North Down 30.63%
Religion at each census
Census year Date conducted All usual residents Catholic [note 5] Presbyterian Church in Ireland Church of Ireland Methodist Church in Ireland Other religions None/Not Stated
1861 08/04/61 1396453 40.94% 32.73% 22.96% 2.00% 1.34% 0.03%
1871 03/04/71 1359190 39.32% 32.06% 24.23% 1.95% 2.41% 0.03%
1881 03/04/81 1304816 37.98% 31.75% 24.68% 2.39% 3.09% 0.12%
1891 06/04/91 1236056 36.27% 31.84% 25.35% 2.99% 3.39% 0.16%
1901 31/03/01 1236952 34.79% 32.06% 25.61% 3.57% 3.88% 0.09%
1911 02/04/11 1250531 34.40% 31.59% 26.15% 3.67% 3.98% 0.20%
1926 18/04/26 1256561 33.46% 31.31% 26.96% 3.94% 4.15% 0.18%
1937 01/03/37 1279745 33.47% 30.55% 27.00% 4.31% 4.50% 0.19%
1951 08/04/51 1370921 34.39% 29.92% 25.77% 4.86% 4.63% 0.43%
1961 23/04/61 1425042 34.91% 28.99% 24.20% 5.04% 5.00% 1.85%
1971 26/04/71 1519640 31.45% 26.70% 22.00% 4.69% 5.79% 9.38%
1981 [note 6] 05/04/81 1481959 27.97% 22.93% 18.99% 3.96% 7.61% 18.53%
1991 21/04/91 1577836 38.38% 21.35% 17.70% 3.77% 7.76% 11.03%
2001 [note 7] 29/04/01 1685267 40.26% 20.69% 15.30% 3.51% 6.36% 13.88%
2011 [note 7] 27/03/11 1810863 40.76% 19.06% 13.74% 3.00% 6.58% 16.87%
2021 [note 7] 21/03/21 1903178 42.31% 16.61% 11.55% 2.35% 8.19% 19.00%
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Very interesting data.
Between 1961 and 1981 Catholics and Protestants transited to ‘None Stated’ at proportional rates then from 1991 on Catholics re-identified en-masse as Catholic while Protestants continued to drift to ‘None Stated’
Most striking of all was the 150% increase in Methodists from 1861 to 1961 , I have no theory for why this might be. Anyone have any ideas?

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just throwing it out there that decades ago it was pointed out that the protestant community was being outbred. They were (are) the more affluent community in the North. Affleunce across the western world leads to lower birth rates. The Republic is in the same boat now.

Despite they better affluence they are being made the minority. Now if anyone had reason to make moves to counteract what was seen as inevitable decades ago it would be the Protestants.

The Irish in the republic will be outbred too if it carries on its ways

No problem with having dual citizenship, only becomes an issue if one of the countries imposes conscription/national service, then they could come and get you.
Something that many dual passport holders will soon find out id one is Russian or Ukrainian.

Actual National Identity numbers from the Cenus. Only Free Staters think its just religion. All Catholic are “Irish” etc…


In all opinion polls over the last 30 years people who identify as Northern Irish vote large majority against a United Ireland. Only the “Irish” in NI overwhelming support a UI. No other group.

Other fun fact. Almost no Protestants in NI identify as “Irish”. Less that 1%. “Irish” is almost a purely RC identity. But Northern Irish or British isnt. So no real change since the Ulster Covenant. Irish nationalists have done a great job of selling their national identity to others in the island over the last 100 plus years.

And the Bann Redoubt still lives…


So if current demographic trends hold those identifying as “Irish” in NI might become a voting majority in about 40 or 50 years time. Maybe. About the same time the white “Irish” become a minority in the 26 counties. If current trends hold.

Now wouldn’t that be ironic.

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So will we have a border poll in the next 5 years?

I assume SF will lead the next Irish Government, the Queens death and Charles as King weakens the union, Scotland still looking to leave, so yes a poll in the next few years is really possible

United Ireland much more popular with younger age groups according to poll reported on by IT last month.

You’d have to know the extent to which pragmatism and inertia influnce older voters to want to stick with the status quo more as they age to be able to put a timeline on the shift in public opinion though.

What’s different now is that those who would tend toward a quiet life and maintenance of the status quo no longer view that as necessarily being entwined with remaining within the UK.

Post-Brexit many such people in the North have begun to view a United Ireland as a means of retaining their status as citizens of the European Union.

So things are very much not as they were for a long time. Ironic that it may have been the resurgence of English nationalism in the form of Brexit that finally ends the union.

Obviously all of the above does not include developments post-Ukraine which may in turn impact upon attitudes to the EU, if not the existence of the EU itself.

Regardless, “a Protestant country for a Protestant people” now in failed state territory.

Good fucking riddance