Catholics could soon outnumber Protestants in Northern Ireland

Catholics could soon outnumber Protestants in Northern Ireland April 21, 2018

From the BBC: 

It is likely Catholics will outnumber Protestants by 2021 in Northern Ireland, according to a leading academic.

Dr Paul Nolan, who specialises in monitoring the peace process and social trends, told BBC News NI that there could be more Catholics than Protestants in Northern Ireland by the centenary of the foundation of the state.

However, he says unionists should not be too alarmed because you cannot necessarily equate being a Catholic with supporting a united Ireland.

The last census in 2011 put the Protestant population at 48%, just 3% more than Catholics at 45%.

More recent figures from 2016 show that among those of working age 44% are now Catholic and 40% Protestant.

The difference is even more marked among schoolchildren with 51% Catholic, 37% Protestant.

Only among the over 60s is there a majority of Protestants with 57%, compared to Catholics on 35%.

Dr Nolan said: “Three years from now we will end up, I think, in the ironic situation on the centenary of the state where we actually have a state that has a Catholic majority.”

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