Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Registrar General Annual Report 2010

The 2010 Annual Report of the Register Generals Annual Report for 2010 was published today. It provides a wealth of information relating to the demographic make up of Northern Ireland.

Information provided includes births in 2010, deaths in 2010 and as well as information on marriages, divorces and civil partnerships.

Although the report does not determine the community background of those born and deceased in 2010, Appendix 2 provides details of the breakdown of births and deaths by District Council. We know that of Northern Ireland's 26 District Councils can be divided into 11 majority Catholic/Nationalist Districts, 12 majority Protestant/Unionist Districts and 3 evenly balanced Districts (i.e. no community has a greater representation than 55%).

The table below shows the birth and death rates for each District Council in each of the three groups using the data provided in the report

The average bith rate of the Catholic majoity areas in 2010 is 14.4 (per 1,000 population) which is 11.6% higher than the Protestant birth rate of 12.9. The average birth rate in Northern Ireland as a whole was 14.1

The average death rate in Protestant dominated district councils in 2010 was 8.4 (per 1,000 population) compared to 7.1 in Catholic majority district councils which is a greater figure by 18.3%. The average death rate in Northern Ireland as a whole was 8.0.

It must be noted that the three groups in the table are based on the 2001 census and it is likely that some of District Councils actually belong in a different group. For example Lisburn probably belongs in the balanced group. However the 2011 census results will provide the facts.

These trends are consistent over the last number of years as shown by the tables below.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The cat is in the sack!

As Mr. Trappatonni says the cat is in the sack and the sack is closed. In other words Ireland have qualified  for the European Championship 2012, the first major tournament in ten years and first European Championship in 24 years.

Who can forget Euro 88 and Ray Houghton's header to give Ireland a famous victory over the Old Enemy in Stuttgart or Ronnie Whelan's wonder volley against the Soviet Union in Hanover.

Ireland supporters always travel in huge numbers and it will be no different next June with Polish "phrasebooks and jump  leads for the van" being sought in all 32 Counties. For those who can't make the epic journey to Polkraine, there will be football barbeques and parties from Derry to Cork and Galway to Dublin as the boys in green take part in this prestigous festival of football.

This is a much needed boost for the country and with players of the calibre of Given, Dunne, O'Shea, McGeady, Duff, Gibson and Keane and a world class manager in Giovanni Trappatoni there is much reason to be optimistic of the nations prospects this summer.

Come on You Boys In Green!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Penny Has Dropped!

In an interview with The Times newspapeer reported by RTÉ, the leader of Irish Unionism Peter Robinson has stated that the future of NI as a part of the UK will depend on Catholic votes and that he could be the last Unionist First Minister.

Asked whether he could be Northern Ireland's last unionist first minister, Mr Robinson said: "Yes, but the assumption behind your question is that the Catholic population will not vote for unionist parties."

Of course Catholics do not generally vote for Unionist parties so Mr. Robinson would appear to be clutching at straws. Even if Protestant alienation of Catholics was to discontinue, this would be unlikely to change.

The article implies the reasoning behind Mr Robinsons comments as due to demographic change backed up by interesting statistics

"A 2001 census recorded the Northern Irish population as 53.1% Protestant and 43.8% Catholic, with the 2011 census expected to show a narrowing of the gap.

The Times cited a recent national audit showing that when asked to state their religion, 54% of boys and 55% of girls described themselves as Catholic.

Figures out last month found that 49% of Northern Irish students at the province's universities were Catholics, while 35% were Protestants".

The Unionist leader is clearly resigned to the fact that a Catholic plurality in the North is inevitable in the not too distant future and acknowledges that the very survival of the orange state will be detetermined by the very people that were to be excluded in the "Protestant state for a Protestant people".

For the Leader of Unionism to publicly asknowledge that NI is on the verge a Catholic majority is truely momentous. The penny has dropped.