Sunday, July 25, 2010

Census 2011

Sunday 27 March 2011 is the date Census 2011 will be conducted. It is not yet known when results will be published but it should be noted that this is the first time that census information can be completed online. Consequently results are expected to be published earlier than in previous censuses. The census which is conducted every ten years will provide "comprehensive demographic statistics for small areas and small population groups, as well as Northern Ireland as a whole. Information from the Census is used extensively across the public, private and voluntary sectors and has many important uses".

However, the reality is many people will be looking at census results for a breakdown of the two main religious blocks and to ascertain whether trends from previous censuses are continuing.

Table S306 of the 2001 census can be summarised in the following table:

Protestant Catholic Other
Population 53.1% 43.8% 3.1%
Electorate 56.2% 41.5% 2.3%

It will be interesting to see the 2011 version of this table.

The evolution of trends will also be of keen interest. This graph taken from the 2001 census shows that the 'tipping point' is the age of 27 i.e. the population above the age of 27 is majority Protestant and the population below the age of 27 is majority Catholic. Will the 2011 equivalent of this table show the 'tipping point' has moved exactly ten years to the right?

This chart shows the growth in the Catholic population based on census results from 1961 to 2001 (the results are based on this table on CAIN). Will the Catholic population reach/surpass the 45% mark and will the Protestant population dip below 50% for the first time once the 2011 census results are published?


  1. I hope you haven't gone and died on us too.

  2. Under the St Andrews Agreement, the party with the most Assembly seats is entitled to take the first minister post, and Sinn Féin currently is in pole position to be the biggest party after next May’s election.

    Mr Elliott said he had made clear to Northern Secretary Owen Paterson the “absolute folly” of this rule. “Initially my leadership will seek to deal with this issue as a matter of urgency and the present government at Westminster knows that it has an obligation to support me,” he added.

    He blamed the DUP for changing the rules at St Andrews because it had mistakenly believed it would be to the party’s advantage.

    “The DUP’s foolish and reckless actions at St Andrews were specifically designed to blackmail unionist voters into permanently supporting that party to prop them up as the largest Assembly party,” he said.

    “Well, it’s obvious this DUP plan was as well thought out as their decision to invite Jim Allister back into a senior party position!

    “If Sinn Féin is returned as the largest party to the Assembly next year and we are faced with Martin McGuinness as first minister of Northern Ireland, the blame for that lies squarely with the DUP and no one else,” Mr Elliott said.

    He said he had heard DUP calls for unionist unity. “If they mean a single party, my answer is clear and simple. You will not see it under my leadership and I cannot see it in my own lifetime. This would only create polarisation and a further reduction in unionist votes,” he added.

    Taken from the Irish Times

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Independence for Scotland is set to be a "major issue" in the SNP's forthcoming bid for a second term in office, the First Minister has said.

    Alex Salmond said he will build his party's Holyrood election strategy around the independence issue.

    He told the Sunday Express the SNP would combine independence with the economy and stress that an independent Scotland could deal with the economic crisis without swingeing budget cuts.

    He said: "It will be a major, perhaps dominating issue, in the election, not because it is about not giving the people a say in their own future, which is very important, but because we will be making the link to the economic crisis and saying if we have economic and financial powers then we can deal, not with all, but with the majority of this economic problem, which otherwise we have to deal with within a fixed budget."

    Mr Salmond said he was "unlikely" to succeed in pushing his party's Referendum Bill through the Scottish Parliament next month, but said "the people will have their say" about the issue at the ballot box in May.

    The First Minister also spoke of the fortune an independent Scotland could earn from renewable energy over the next 50 years, adding: "I don't want to see us again deploying a fantastic energy revolution in Scottish waters and finding out that somebody else gets all the benefits in revenue terms."

    A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: "This shows the SNP is increasingly out of touch with the modern Scotland.

    "As we come to terms with the effects of the recession, as jobs continue to be lost, as firms are struggling, the last thing we need is a SNP government obsessed with separating Scotland from the rest of the UK.

    "The SNP promised so much and have delivered so little. They have run out of ideas and have nothing to say to the thousands of Scots struggling to find a job.

    "Alex Salmond, himself a former banker, can't bring himself to see that Labour used the strength of the UK to protect Scotland from complete economic meltdown like Iceland or Ireland."

  5. Launching his leadership bid in Belfast's Merchant Hotel today, Mr McCrea will unveil five pledges:

    - No ministry until party success assured – "I intend to lead the party on the basis that the leader of the UUP will be the first minister. Until this goal is achieved I will not accept any other ministry."

    - The UUP will take the education ministry as first choice – "The party will fight the next assembly elections on the basis of 'A vote for the UUP, is a vote to remove Ruane'. We will remove the possibility of Caitriona Ruane doing yet more damage to the education system."

    - No electoral pacts with the DUP or anybody else – "We must convince those that no longer vote that there is something to vote for. We will stand on our own two feet, we will offer our own policies, we will select our own candidates."

    - All MLAs will face a vote of confidence at the end of each year – "All members will be given an opportunity to express satisfaction of all UUP MLAs by secret ballot. The results will be made public."

    - Discipline robustly enforced – "There are too many organs of the party. The party officer team will go. The executive will be revamped to include all MLAs. Attendance at executive meetings for elected representatives will be compulsory."

    In hard-hitting comments aimed at senior party figures, Mr McCrea will say: "For far too long this party, the party for all its faults we cherish has been choked by a culture of cronyism, of rule-bending intellectual poverty.

    "We have been dogged by would-be leaders; behind the scenes, string-pulling unelected leaders and responsible-to-no-one leaders.

    "Our message to the public has been blocked by too many voices and too many self-promotional messages.

    "It has blanked out the message when it comes to the screen of public opinion."

    Tonight Mr Elliott's campaign manager, Mike Nesbitt will be one of seven individuals hoping to be selected as one of three (eventually to be reduced to two) candidates to run in Strangford in next year's assembly election.

    Veteran UUP MLA David McNarry, who is also backing Tom Elliott, is also standing, as is businessman Bill McKendry, party officer Phillip Smith, former Ards mayor Jim Fletcher, long-standing Ards councillor Ronnie Ferguson and Andrew Cooper.

  6. NEARLY nine in 10 Scots thought Alex Salmond won the first TV leaders debate, a poll showed last night.
    An online survey showed 87 per cent thought the SNP leader was the top performer in Tuesday night's clash.
    Tory leader Annabel Goldie was second with seven per cent, while just five per cent backed Labour's Iain Gray - with one per cent favouring Lib Dem Tavish Scott.
    The ScotPulse poll, conducted on behalf of STV, also asked viewers whether their perceptions had changed as a result of the programme.
    Almost three quarters said their view of Mr Gray was worse than before while more than half had a better impression of Mr Salmond.
    Miss Goldie managed to slightly sway four in 10 while 10 per cent said they "positively shifted" their opinion of her. SNP campaign chief Angus Robertson MP said: "Alex Salmond was the only credible First Minister on the stage on Tuesday night and this poll back up the reaction across the country.
    "Alex demonstrated substance focused on policy delivery.
    "It is no surprise that as the debate went on viewers became more positive toward him and the clear leadership for Scotland he represents.
    "Iain Gray simply failed to measure up and failed to connect with the audience. His aggressive and negative tone was clearly a real turn off for viewers and voters."
    The party leaders met again last night at a debate.
    Mr Gray said the First Minister has tried to make the election about personalities, by putting his name on the regional ballot paper for the SNP list.
    He said: "I don't think the electorate will buy it."
    But Mr Salmond insisted the move was "perfectly legitimate".
    And he added: "We have a decent track-record in government and a team to be proud of, unlike Iain Gray."

  7. TUV needed more than ever
    02 April 2011
    Speaking at a dinner in Ballymena to officially launch of TUV’s North Antrim campaign Jim Allister said:

    “TUV came into existence to provide a voice to Unionists who would otherwise be disenfranchised and with every passing day it is becoming evident that we are more needed than ever.

    “The UUP continues to implode. While they are on sinking sand the DUP is on shifting sand, as they continue to move further and further away from the ground they once occupied. They have become the say anything, do anything, go anywhere party in order to stay in power. Rather than espouse the principles of traditional Unionism they have become more concerned with wooing the Alliance vote.

    “While the campaign is still only in its early days it is already apparent to me that a vast number of Unionists feel abandoned by the parties who have sat in Stromont for the past 4 years. I would encourage those people to join TUV in our struggle to create a workable Stormont.

    “TUV holds to its principles. We stand alone in this election in demanding British devolution for British Ulster. Only the TUV is demanding root and branch reform of Stromont to bring it into line with the rest of the United Kingdom. Why should we be denied what the people of Scotland and Wales will have the opportunity to do in just over a month’s time  - change their government? 

    “However, whatever our differences with the other unionist parties TUV welcomes the call by Orange Order Grand Master Edward Stevenson for Unionists to work together to maximise the Unionist vote. I would encourage all unionist voters to transfer down the ticket to all pro-Union candidates so that we can achieve maximum Unionist representation in the next Assembly.

    “Having said that, only a first preference vote for the TUV candidate in your area will be a clear anti-Sinn Fein vote and send the unambiguous message which needs to be sent – it’s time for Stormont to work for the people, not the politicians!”