Oh, and another thing…

SuperSoupy points out that the figures offered by DENI, point to a deficit in the number of Catholics who declared themselves as such the 2001 Census. SS writes:

The most recent school leaver statistics showed 20% more Catholics (12,900) than Protestants (10,800)and 1,900 others leaving school in 2005/06 only 280 ethnic kids. (table 6) Over a 1,000 Catholic children leaving school but educated outside the CCMS. 20% is a high differential for those of us who remain deeply suspicious of the census re-designation of non-respondents. It’s very interesting as the schools are reporting information that may have been left blank on census forms. 10% others not being re-labelled and a clear showing of demographics at the lower age range. I always thought the demographic aspect wasn’t as clear as the NICSA tried to make it.


  • Yokel

    Can someone explain this in simple terms?

    Is this the bogeyman we outbreed you game again?

  • SuperSoupy


    I was focusing on how raw data differs greatly from that presented by statisticians who adjusted actual responses received.

    I remain deeply sceptical of the legitimacy in adjusting census data and personally feel protecting some from the ‘bogeyman’ argument may have been part reasoning behind it.

    Funny how a set of unaltered figures paints a completely different demographic picture to the altered(adjusted) figures.

  • Dewi

    Hells Bells Soupy and Mick we’ve had enough of the name calling over the last few days – this is guaranteed a 500 message thread very few of which contructive….

  • Maggot

    Is schooling reliable?

    It’s my impression that a lot more protestant children attend RC Schools than RC children attend state schools.

  • Thanks Soupy, interesting figures.

    I think I’m going to avoid the rest of the comments zone…

  • George

    is your impression reliable?

  • SuperSoupy


    The figures in Table 6 aren’t for pupils at school type but religion of pupils across all schools.

  • Maggot

    George – Do you know any State Schools which have mirror Dominican College in Portstewart, which has a Protestant Headmaster and last figure I heard was circa 10% Protestant pupils, by having a Catholic headteacher and 10% RC pupils?

  • slug

    I will also be staying clear of the comments zone.

  • Maggot

    Thank you SuperSoupy – now I’m lost.

  • George

    I was asking you if your impression was reliable -more reliable than the figures posted.

    It seems you are basing your impression on the situation in a school in Portstewart, which has exactly what to do with the figures posted if you don’t mind me asking?

  • Maggot

    It came across that you were being a smart-arse George. SuperSoupy has politely explained that the figures are not based on the designation of the schools, So I’ll withdraw – as it’s statistics.

  • qubol

    does DENI provide the public with raw census data so they can analyse it themselves (Or as near as is possible with out infringing privacy)

  • BRA has ~50% Catholic pupils, Maggot.

  • George

    nothing about being a smartarse, I just thought it extremely odd that when cold figures were posted you thought it perfectly valid to counter them with a mere impression you hold.

    If I am offered the choice between reliable and researched figures and personal “impressions”, I’ll take the figures.

  • This cohort are aged between 16 and 18 now, and therefore were aged 10-12 at the time of the 2001 census.

    Community background figures for the 11 year old cohort in 2001 were:

    Taigs 49.7%
    Huns 45.8%
    Others 4.5%

    The breakdown, by percentage, of these figures is:

    Taigs 49.7% (whoa!)
    Huns 41.7%
    Others 8.4%

    Does this allay your suspicions, Soupy?

  • Dewi

    Sorry, uncalled for, interesting statistics actually – a third more girls go to higher education than boys……….yet very little representation in politics….or is that why ?

  • Ulster McNulty

    OK, let’s speed this up a bit – how many 11 year olds are in favour of a united Ireland.

  • Cormac

    “a third more girls go to higher education than boys……….yet very little representation in politics….or is that why ?”

    I heard politics was showbusiness for ugly people – but stupid people too?


  • Maggot

    ” perfectly valid to counter them with a mere impression you hold. ”

    I asked a question George. I was not trying to counter anything. I was seeking information.

  • Dewi

    OK, let’s speed this up a bit – how many 11 year olds are in favour of a united Ireland.

    Excelllent Mr McNulty !!!

  • SuperSoupy


    Those figures seem to show that only the Protestant figure received a boost from the redesignation of non-respondents in that age range?

    My suspicions continue.

  • SuperSoupy


    btw: Thanks, I should have done that myself.

    The unadjusted figures seem to indicate that the ‘others’ figure was reduced by 3.9% and every single one of those ‘others’ was added to the new Protestant figure for the census. Not a single ‘other’ was deemed to be Catholic when the statisticians did the adjustments?

    It all seems a tiny bit dubious.

  • Not necessarily, Soupy. Most Catholic schools will say all their pupils are Catholic even if the pupils in question wouldn’t see themselves as belonging to any religion at all.

    You need to provide a bit more evidence here Soupy.

  • SuperSoupy

    Now for a mad extrapolation, if you assume a 3.9% bias across all adjusted statistics and work back we could have an unadjusted 2001 census result of:

    43.76% Catholic
    49.23% Protestant
    4.29% Other
    2.72% none

    And the magical 50%+ disappears. I’m being to think statisticians were involved in confidence building at a difficult political time.

  • Dewi

    Relating this to the census is also diffcult cos people leave school at different ages. The raw figures are available:


    Choose “all Northern Ireland” under cultural and you’ll see the figures both raw and re-defined.

  • SuperSoupy


    My evidence is the school and parental reporting figure (census) is identical in the case of Catholic children. Both are reporting the same – identical as you demonstrated.

    (and I’m trying to give Brian Feeney a heart attack)

  • Pól

    When is the next census?

  • Dewi

    In 2001 census number’s re-allocated from no religion to community background in total were 186,403.

    Of which 58,950 to Catholic
    And 127,453 Protestant and other Christian Religions.

  • SuperSoupy



    Total – 10.89%

    Distribution rates

    Catholic – 3.45%
    Protestant – 7.45%

    Bias towards Protestant 4% which is almost identical to the 3.9% figure at the age range being discussed that is not being reflected in unadjusted reporting by schools.

    Could the census figures have a 4% inflation of the Protestant demographic?

  • “Counting-the-Catholics” is evidently a morale booster for some people after “Counting-the-SF-Votes” last week.

    I’ve got some tea leaves in my mug if anyone wants to examine them – they’re at least as predictive of the future as demographic figures.

  • Could the census figures have a 4% inflation of the Protestant demographic?

    Could aliens have constructed the Pyramids and the Nazca Lines?

    This is wishful thinking mate. You have yet to produce a scrap of evidence.

  • Diluted Orange

    Who says that there needs to be changes in the NI schooling system? Pigeon-holing 11 year old kids into their tribes, predisposed to them at birth, is a very healthy exercise and shows just how much progress has been made here.

    Howver, IMO, the data provided seems slightly ambiguous so for a more accurate analysis in determining whether the land in which our graves will lie will be under the rule of Dublin or London why don’t they just employ a simpler method in ‘Cafflick/Prod Counting’?

    It should be mandatory for all 11 years olds to go for an eye test. When they are at the optician’s the distance between their eyes can be measured accurately. According to whichever tribe a child is assumed to be part of they will then be branded with ‘Hun’ or ‘Taig’ on their foreheads and will be provided with a free sash or tricolour before leaving the premises.

    This method could also be useful in reducing public expenditure as no elections will ever have to be staged again. All future votes that the children will have during their lifetimes can be stored in a government computer and designated for either SF or DUP, according to the child’s chosen tribe, thus ensuring that we know the results for every election and possible border polls for decades to come.

    I’m also glad to see that data for the number of ‘ethnic kids’ in schools is shown above too – very PC. We can just assume that they’ll vote Alliance to bring completeness to the scheme.

  • Dewi

    Yeah I know DO – I complained about this being posted because all such threads tend to descend to abiuse…..however it doesn’t change the facts that people vote on tribal lines

  • Cahal

    35 posts in and no abuse yet.

    Would anybody really be surprised if the figures were ‘massaged’ a little?

  • PaddyReilly

    Very interesting but it is the voting figures that need to be watched. The difference between the two camps is so tiny that a very small swing would cause a flip over.

    Political pundits would have us believe that television debates have this effect. If the Rev Ian’s false teeth fall out during such an event, or he manifests (non-verbal) incontinency, the effect could be such that the Union is voted down the next day.

    Another school of thought, which this thread seems to represent, says that voting behaviour is religiously determined. This doesn’t help us predicting the distribution of Alliance voters, unless they are all Taoists and Hindus, though I suspect it may have some correlation to Alliance voters’ 2nd pref votes.

    The fact that a person was baptised Catholic establishes no absolute rule as to how he is going to vote, but I think it makes it much more likely that he is going to vote SF or SDLP rather than DUP or PUP.

    Turkeys, it is said, do not vote for Christmas, but in my experience Christmas always comes through the inevitable workings of time, whatever the opinion of the Turkey electorate.

  • Dewi

    “35 posts in and no abuse yet.”

    Cahal – I’ll be delighted to be proven wrong……

  • Briso

    Posted by PaddyReilly on May 30, 2007 @ 04:11 PM
    >Turkeys, it is said, do not vote for Christmas,
    >but in my experience Christmas always comes >through the inevitable workings of time,
    >whatever the opinion of the Turkey electorate.

    Excellent! 🙂

    You’re right about the votes being the ones that count. The only health warning is the possible operation of the ‘Trimble’ effect. He believed that there were tens of thousands of ‘Garden centre’, ‘Gin and Tonic’ and ‘Golf course’ unionists who would vote in a border poll but were no longer prepared to get off their asses to vote Unionist. Indeed, he wanted a border poll on the same day as the assembly election in the expectation that having come out to save the union, they might just throw a vote his way while they were in there. He also reckoned that a significant number of Nationalist voters would actually vote unionist in a border poll and that this combination would deliver the double whammy of putting him in power and ending talk of a United Ireland for a generation or two.

    Only one way to find out…

  • cynic


    Live in hope if you want to.

    The reality is we all have to live together and if we dont decide to 50%+1 is just as bad an outcome for either side. Civil war is civil war no matter which is the majority

    In the meantime, perhaps best to make one of those little hats out of aluminium foil to keep out the signals from the Government satellites that are clearly controlling the thoughts of all those poor statisticians involved in the conspiracy.

    The things the Brits will do to mislead us!

  • 50%+1 seals the deal.

    “50%+1 is just as bad an outcome for either side”

    Didn’t the majority of us vote for this in the GFA? If 50%+1 happens, a UI will happen. That’s what we all agreed on.

    When it does happen I’m certain the 50%-1 will be surpised by the generosity shown to them by the 50%+1.

    I personally will pay for a family to be relocated back home to Scotland.

  • cynic

    50% + 1 seals the deal

    “I personally will pay for a family to be relocated”

    Funny….that’s just what Hitler said around 1941.

  • Comrade Stalin

    There are a couple of other things needed to seal the deal, such as a referendum, and consent in the RoI.

    I wouldn’t really want to bet on either of those.

  • Pounder

    Plus out of those numbers it doesn’t say how or even if they’ll vote, getting young voters to vote can be a hard thing. Plus going by the census doesn’t mean much as many people, myself inclused, took the piss and marked themselves as a Jedi Knight.

  • DK

    The redistribution from the raw to community figures is not even – it depends on the age group.

    Can anyone explain to me why the % raw catholics drops at a steady rate from 48% at age 16 to 42% at age 0. There is a similar drop in protestant percentages, but not as steep. There is a corresponding rise in “no religion”.

    Raw catholic numbers have outnumbered protestants at birth since 1975, but extapolating the trends, I get it that “no religion” will outnumber protestants from 2003 and “no religion” will also outnumber catholics from 2006.

  • Dewi

    I expect cos the 0 year olds haven’t decided yet

  • DK

    “I expect cos the 0 year olds haven’t decided yet”

    Usually they have no choice and get baptised within a fortnight or so. And anyway, it is a SMOOTH decline from 16 to 0. Not a sudden drop at zero, which might be explained by parents putting no religion on the form if they haven’t baptised them yet (although as I say most are baptised very soon after birth).

  • Dewi

    Perhaps people are becoming less religious like in the rest of the countries of Britain ?
    – and I was being sarky sorry.

  • Irish Aussie

    The breakdown, by percentage, of these figures is:

    Taigs 49.7% (whoa!)
    Huns 41.7%
    Others 8.4%

    Does this allay your suspicions, Soupy?

    Posted by Sammy Morse on May 30

    Doesn,t allay mine, the actual percentages are

    Taigs 50.4%
    Huns 42.2%
    Others 7.4%

    I suspect you have created a new group for the “280 ethnic kids” mentioned in the article. These are part of the others group,a quick check of table 6 of the DENI figures will confrim this.I think the point trying to be made is that of 1900 others more than 1600 hundred of them are Irish, granted thats its poorly written.

  • DK

    Surprised that no-one else has mentioned it, but the DENI figures state that they exclude kids outside of the schools that they can monitor (special and independent schools). So a whole load of minor church schools, home-educated and disabled are not included.

    DENI give a total of 25528 school leavers. The census gives about 27000 kids in that age cohort. Plus there will have been more additions to the school leavers from immigration that are not included in the census figures. In other words there are at least 1500 kids that DENI know nothing about. If we assume immigration adding 2% to the school leaving population not captured in the census, then we are at 2000 kids.

    Having said that, the figures do tie in reasonably well for the catholic school leavers at 50.4%, but the huns are poorly represented at 40% when they should, according to the census be at 45%.

    This does suggest that the census is either over-allocating to the prods %, or that the DENI figures can’t be relied on as they miss out some 2000 kids (7% of the population).

    Love stats.

  • abucs

    Could the increasing number of mixed marriages play a part ?

  • DK

    “Could the increasing number of mixed marriages play a part ?”

    Could be – I know of 4 such marriages myself and only one has had their children baptised.

  • Fleeter

    “those of us who remain deeply suspicious of the census re-designation of non-respondents”

    The census re-designation was not some kind of mysterious voodoo. All they did was put the people who put current religion as none and religion brought up in as Protestant in the Hun category and put the people who put current religion as none and religion brought up in as Catholic in the Taig category, while those who put current religion as none and religion brought up in as none (in reality a group more Hun than Taig) stayed in the none category. Barring the statistically irrelevant oddballs (eg. born Prod now Muslim) that is essentially all it was.