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Population of the ABC Council area has increased by 9.5% since 2011, new census data shows

The population of Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon has increased 9.5% since the 2011 census, amid changing identities and an increase in Irish passport holders.

This morning, the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA) released a new phase of statistics from the 2021 census, shining a light on how the Northern Ireland population has changed in the last ten years.

The statistics include figures dealing with areas such as passports held, ethnic group, national identity, language, and religion.

This is the first census to be conducted since the reform of local government in Northern Ireland in 2015, when the smaller councils merged to form bigger districts. This meant that Armagh City & District Council, Banbridge Council and Craigavon Council merged to form Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council.

Some numbers for the 2021 census were first released on May 24, which revealed that the total Northern Ireland population was 1,903,100, which represents the highest population ever recorded.

Many will be focusing on the statistics on national identity across Northern Ireland as a whole, as those who identify as British only has dropped to 32% from 40% in 2011, while those who identify as Irish only has risen to 29%, from 25% in 2011. Furthermore, those who identify as Catholic – or were brought up Catholic – make up 46% of the population, while Protestant is 43%.

Another notable change nationally is that of passport holders. 47% of the population are now UK passport holders only, down from 57% in 2011, while those who hold Irish passports only, are at 27%, up from 19% in 2011.

Locally, the statistics show that the population of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon was 218,656 at the time of the 2021 Census, which made it the 2nd largest population of the eleven districts, an increase of 9.5% since the 2011 Census.

The statistics also show the increase in those born in other countries coming to live in Northern Ireland, alongside an increase in secularism across the province. While the ABC area population has increased in terms of those identifying with no religion, at 16%, the change is not as drastic as some other areas of Northern Ireland. For example, the figure in Ards and North Down is 32%.

The below data sets form just some of the recent statistics that have been released for the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council area:

Country of Birth

  • Northern Ireland 85% (2011 89%)
  • England 3% (2011 3%)
  • Scotland <1% (2011 1%)
  • Wales <1% (2011 <1%)
  • Republic of Ireland 2% (2011 2%)
  • Other countries 9% (2011 5%)

Passport Held

  • UK only 46% (2011 57%)
  • Ireland only 25% (2011 18%)
  • UK & Ireland 5% (2011 2%)
  • Other passport(s) 8% (2011 4%)
  • No passport 16% (2011 19%)

National Identity

  • British only 33% (2011 42%)
  • Irish only 26% (2011 23%)
  • Northern Irish only 19% (2011 21%)
  • British & Irish only <1% (2011 1%)
  • British & Northern Irish only 8% (2011 6%)
  • Irish & Northern Irish only 1% (2011 1%)
  • British, Irish & Northern Irish only 1% (2011 1%)
  • Other national identities 10% (2011 6%)

Religion

  • Catholic 41% (2011 39%)
  • Presbyterian 14% (2011 16%)
  • Church of Ireland 16% (2011 19%)
  • Methodist 3% (2011 3%)
  • Other Christian religions 9% (2011 8%)
  • Other religions 1% (2011 1%)
  • No religion/Not stated 16% (2011 14%)

Religion/Religion brought up in

  • Catholic 44% (2011 43%)
  • Protestant & other Christian religions 47% (2011 52%)
  • Other religions 1% (2011 1%)
  • None 8% (2011 5%)

 

The full statistics from NISRA can be found here.

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