The Census 2021 figures, published on Thursday, present that 45.7% of the area’s population said they had been both Catholic or introduced up as a Catholic.
The figures for Protestants (and other Christian faiths) was 43.5% whereas 1.5% had been from non-Christian religions.
Northern Ireland had a big Protestant majority when it was established in 1921 as a part of the partition of Ireland.
- 2001 – 44%
- 2011 – 45%
- 2021 – 45.7%
The last census, in 2011, recorded 48% of the population as being both Protestant or introduced up Protestant, down 5 share factors on 2001.The Catholic population stood at 45% 11 years in the past, up one share point on 2001.
The 2021 Census confirmed 9.3% of the population 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 Ireland.
Some may draw a hyperlink between the non secular breakdown and public opinion on the potential reunification of Ireland.
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 may be positioned on the census figures on national identification.
- 2001 – 53%
- 2011 – 48%
- 2021 – 43.5%
Census 2021 confirmed that 31.9% said they had been “British-only” and eight% deemed themselves “British and Northern Irish”.