Sunday, July 1, 2012

School's Census

In February every year the School Census relating to students of nursery, primary, post primary and special schools in the North is published. The department of education has publised a spreadsheet of the religious background of students here. The graph below uses the data in the spreadsheet to show us the trends over the last ten years among the three main groups 'Catholic', 'Protestant/Other Christian' and 'Other'.

The trend is clear to see. The Catholic percentage of the student population which has been increasing year on year remains steady at 50.9%. The Protestant/Other Christian percentage has been in decline and now stands at 39.9%.

No doubt some would cling to the fact that the 'Other' group (9.2%) has increased in an equal but opposite direction to that of 'Protestant/Other Christian'. This of course would be to assume that the 'Other' group (which includes Non Christian and Other/No Religion/Not Recorded) is made up entirely of students from Protestant communtiy backgrounds. Logically this is not ture. However according to NISRA Protestants are more likely not to declare their religion.

In the 2001 census NISRA allocated children and teenagers of the 'Other/No Religion group' into both community backgrounds (religion or religion brought up in)as follows

•For children aged 5-11, those who were declared as 'None/Not Stated': 24.3% to 'Catholic', 40.0% to 'Protestant and other Christian', 0.5% to 'Non-Christian, and 35.2% to 'None'

•For children aged 12-18, those who were declared as 'None/Not Stated': 25.4% to 'Catholic', 46.5% to 'Protestant and other Christian', 0.5% to 'Non-Christian, and 27.6% to 'None'

Using these figues to allocate the 'Other/No Religion/Not Recorded' group in the Schools census figures we get a truer reflection of the community background of students. Students of a Catholic community background have increased to 53.0%. Students of a Protestant community background has decreased to 43.5%


  1. Very interesting keep up the good work.

  2. Nice to see someone carrying on the late Horsemans work.