Census shows gap between Protestants and Catholics narrows to 3% in Northern Ireland

Tuesday 11 December 2012 23.47
Orangemen march past St Patrick's Catholic Church in north Belfast
Orangemen march past St Patrick's Catholic Church in north Belfast

The gap between the proportion of Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland has narrowed, according to new census figures.

The census reveals that 48% of the resident population are either Protestant, or brought up Protestant, while 45% of the resident population are either Catholic, or brought up Catholic.

Figures show that 5.6% belong to neither faith, nor have been brought up in any religion.

The Northern Ireland census was held on 27 March last year.

The 2011 census was the first time a question on national identity was asked.

Of those questioned, 40% said they were British only, with the remaining 8% choosing British along with another one of the identities, such as British and Irish or British and Northern Irish.

A quarter of the population defined themselves as Irish only, while 21% said they were Northern Irish only.

In terms of religion, in the 2001 census 53% of the population was Protestant with 44% Catholic.

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