Northern Ireland To Start Covid-19 Vaccinations Next Week

Northern Ireland’s Changing Demographics Reveal More Catholics Than Protestants For First Time


Northern Ireland now has more Catholics than Protestants for the first time, new census results have revealed.

It represents a historic shift that could help to drive support for a united Ireland.

Northern Ireland was established in 1921 with the aim of maintaining a pro-British, Protestant “unionist” majority against the newly independent, mostly Catholic, Irish state.

The 2021 census shows 45.7% of respondents identified as Catholic or were brought up as Catholic, compared to 43.5% as Protestant.

In 2011, the previous census revealed Protestants outnumbered Catholics 48% to 45%.

Sinn Fein leader in the North Michelle O’Neill said “Today’s results are another clear indication that historic change is happening across this island.”

Sinn Fein said the shift was a further reason why planning should begin for a referendum on a united Ireland.

The party has increased calls for a unity poll since Britain’s decision to leave the EU in 2016, which 56% of Northern Irish voters opposed.

Demographers have long predicted that Catholics, who tend to be younger and have higher birth rates, could become a majority of voters within a generation.

The census results also show the proportion of people with no religion jumped to 17% from 10%.

Another census question found that 32% of respondents identified solely as British, down from 40% in 2011, with 29% seeing themselves as Irish, up from 25%.

A further 20% said they were Northern Irish.