Census: Catholics rise by 1%; Protestants down by 5%; Others are the unofficial winners

So Here it is Merry Christmas! It’s the census results. [Can’t believe it is ten years since the last one! – Ed]. Results are: Catholics up 1% Protestants down 5%. The Irish Times have this and other interesting details as well:

Information on the categories of “Religion” and “Religion Brought up in” showed that 45 per cent of the population were either Catholic or brought up as Catholic, while 48 per cent belonged to or were brought up in Protestant, Other Christian or Christian-related denominations.

This compares to a breakdown of 43.76 per cent Catholic, 53.13 per cent Protestant reported in the last census in 2001.

The core rates though are significantly different if you strip out the community background:

Catholic (41 per cent); Presbyterian (19 per cent); Church of Ireland (14 per cent);
Methodist (3.0 per cent); Other Christian or Christian-related denominations (5.8 per cent);
and Other Religions and Philosophies (0.8 per cent).

This might go someway to explaining why others are much more prevalent in the school stats that Kathryn Torney of the Detail put together a few weeks back. Suggesting both the Protestant and Catholic figures have been inflated by some considerable measure.

In fact it looks like the core figures for Catholic and Protestant are almost neck and neck with others still in third place but much closer to 1/5 of the population.

On national identity, the British are still way ahead on the passport question:

Almost three-fifths (59 per cent) of people usually resident in Northern Ireland held a UK passport, just over a fifth (21 per cent) held an Irish passport, while 19 per cent held no passport.

And we’re getting older:

The population of children aged under 16 years fell from 24 per cent in 2001 to 21 per cent in 2011, while the proportion of people aged 65 years and over rose from 13 per cent to 15 per cent over the same period.

And in Language, ability in Irish is dropping [see Con’s comment below] and Polish is now the main non English language:

English was not the main language for 3.1 per cent of residents aged 3 years and over. The most prevalent main language other than English was Polish which was the main language of 17,700 people or 1 per cent of the population.

Among those aged 3 years and over, 11 per cent had some ability in Irish in 2011 compared with 10 per cent in 2001, while 8.1 per cent of people had some ability in Ulster-Scots.

The statistics office have a pdf of all the headline figures here..

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty