List of districts in Northern Ireland by national identity

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Map of districts of Northern Ireland colour coded to show the predominant national identity. Stronger green indicates a higher proportion of people describing themselves as Irish. Stronger blue indicates a higher proportion of people describing themselves as British. Percentages show the difference between the proportion of people describing themselves as Irish and the proportion of people describing themselves as British. Data from 2011 census

This is a list of local government districts in Northern Ireland by national identity.

In 2011 the decennial UK Census asked respondents for the first time “How would you describe your national identity?” In Northern Ireland respondents were given a list of options (including British, Irish, and Northern Irish) from which they could choose as many as they wanted.

The results reveal that the stereotypical assumptions that almost all Catholics in Northern Ireland self-identified as Irish and almost all Protestants in Northern Ireland self-identified as British are false. The findings also showed a three-way (British-Irish-Northern Irish), rather than a two-way split (British-Irish).

Irish national identity was numerically in a majority in two districts; Derry and Newry, where 55.03% and 52.09% respectively consider themselves as having an Irish national identity.[1] Notably, whilst 45.14% of the population of Northern Ireland said that they were either Catholic or that they had been raised Catholic, only 28.35% described their nationality as Irish.

British nationality was numerically in a majority in eleven districts. The fact that the overall number of people who described their nationality as British (48.41%) is very similar to the proportion who said that they were from a Protestant community background (48.36%) is not tantamount to proving that all Protestants see themselves primarily as British. In 9 of Northern Ireland’s 26 council areas, British nationality was a higher proportion than the number of Protestants. For example, in the Down District Council the figure for British nationality (40.21%) is 123.38% of the figure for Protestants (32.08%), meaning that, even if every single Protestant were to have chosen a British nationality, a substantial amount of those choosing a British nationality were evidently not Protestant.

Northern Irish nationality was geographically evenly spread throughout the region. There is no strong correlation between Northern Irish nationality at local government level and religion or community background. For instance the two highest areas of Northern Irish national identity were Down (34.12%) and North Down (32.95%); the former being mostly Catholic (62.51%) and the latter being mostly Protestant (73.23%).

There is a British national identity majority or plurality over Irish nationality in 20 of the 26 council areas, and there is an Irish national identity majority or plurality over British national identity in 6 of the 26 council areas.


National Identity by District[2]

Map of predominant national identity in the 2011 census in Northern Ireland
District British Irish Northern Irish English, Scottish or Welsh All Other
Antrim 55.2% 20.1% 30.4% 2.3% 3.9%
Ards 73.6% 7.5% 31.9% 1.9% 1.5%
Armagh 44.4% 32.4% 27.1% 1.1% 3.9%
Ballymena 69.0% 11.1% 27.9% 1.4% 3.8%
Ballymoney 60.6% 16.4% 30.9% 1.7% 1.7%
Banbridge 61.1% 16.2% 31.8% 1.5% 1.8%
Belfast 43.2% 34.8% 26.8% 1.5% 5.1%
Carrickfergus 76.5% 5.3% 30.3% 2.1% 1.8%
Castlereagh 66.2% 14.7% 31.3% 1.5% 2.6%
Coleraine 62.4% 14.5% 31.6% 2.0% 3.2%
Cookstown 37.3% 33.5% 32.1% 1.2% 3.7%
Craigavon 48.3% 25.6% 28.7% 1.4% 6.4%
Derry 23.7% 55.0% 24.6% 1.4% 2.0%
Down 40.2% 32.2% 34.1% 1.9% 2.0%
Dungannon 30.9% 38.8% 27.1% 0.9% 9.6%
Fermanagh 37.2% 36.1% 29.5% 1.7% 3.1%
Larne 69.8% 10.1% 31.4% 2.1% 1.2%
Limavady 42.2% 32.0% 30.7% 1.5% 1.4%
Lisburn 55.6% 24.7% 28.7% 2.0% 2.4%
Magherafelt 31.4% 42.7% 29.8% 1.0% 2.8%
Moyle 38.6% 34.1% 32.1% 2.2% 1.4%
Newry and Mourne 20.2% 53.0% 27.6% 1.2% 4.3%
Newtownabbey 66.5% 13.4% 31.2% 1.3% 2.4%
North Down 71.1% 9.1% 33.0% 3.0% 2.4%
Omagh 28.6% 40.9% 32.7% 1.1% 3.4%
Strabane 33.0% 39.2% 31.8% 1.4% 1.3%


National identity by religion or religion brought up in for each district[2]

District Catholic Protestant and other Christian Other Religion or None
British Irish Northern Irish All Other British Irish Northern Irish All Other British Irish Northern Irish All Other
Antrim 23.1% 43.7% 34.2% 7.1% 80.6% 3.1% 27.8% 3.3% 60.4% 6.5% 26.8% 19.0%
Ards 34.1% 31.7% 38.2% 6.4% 80.9% 3.7% 30.4% 2.2% 67.7% 6.0% 35.1% 9.1%
Armagh 7.1% 62.5% 28.7% 6.2% 81.6% 3.6% 25.7% 2.3% 49.3% 10.5% 25.1% 25.3%
Ballymena 24.6% 38.9% 34.7% 11.0% 83.6% 2.7% 25.7% 2.5% 62.3% 6.5% 28.4% 14.4%
Ballymoney 19.0% 44.5% 38.8% 4.1% 81.1% 2.9% 27.2% 2.2% 65.1% 8.4% 28.0% 13.3%
Banbridge 22.6% 41.7% 39.4% 4.5% 81.2% 3.8% 27.7% 2.0% 59.1% 8.3% 33.8% 11.5%
Belfast 11.7% 64.3% 25.0% 5.6% 78.3% 5.5% 28.7% 3.6% 47.7% 13.3% 27.5% 26.3%
Carrickfergus 41.1% 24.6% 35.6% 10.7% 82.0% 3.0% 29.2% 2.4% 68.3% 5.3% 33.7% 8.5%
Castlereagh 22.1% 50.0% 34.5% 6.3% 81.3% 3.9% 29.9% 2.3% 61.9% 8.9% 33.7% 11.8%
Coleraine 25.0% 39.2% 36.5% 8.4% 79.1% 4.3% 29.3% 2.6% 56.5% 10.3% 33.4% 16.8%
Cookstown 8.1% 53.8% 37.7% 5.2% 82.5% 3.6% 24.0% 2.1% 44.2% 9.1% 24.4% 31.5%
Craigavon 12.2% 51.2% 31.5% 10.6% 82.5% 3.2% 26.3% 2.7% 49.9% 9.1% 26.7% 26.4%
Derry 7.3% 70.5% 24.3% 2.5% 76.7% 7.2% 25.9% 3.5% 39.4% 24.7% 21.9% 26.2%
Down 20.1% 47.4% 37.1% 2.9% 77.4% 5.6% 28.7% 3.6% 52.1% 14.4% 32.1% 16.7%
Dungannon 5.7% 57.6% 28.6% 13.0% 79.6% 4.5% 24.5% 3.0% 33.3% 12.0% 22.8% 42.1%
Fermanagh 11.4% 56.2% 32.4% 4.8% 77.1% 6.2% 25.5% 3.0% 43.4% 16.8% 24.0% 28.1%
Larne 38.8% 30.6% 37.7% 3.0% 81.7% 3.0% 28.6% 2.5% 64.1% 6.5% 35.4% 12.1%
Limavady 18.1% 50.5% 34.4% 2.5% 79.8% 4.1% 24.9% 2.5% 51.4% 10.9% 28.8% 18.7%
Lisburn 16.5% 58.6% 27.8% 4.3% 80.2% 4.7% 29.0% 3.2% 62.2% 8.8% 30.3% 13.9%
Magherafelt 6.5% 62.1% 33.0% 3.8% 82.4% 4.2% 23.1% 2.3% 46.9% 13.4% 30.2% 22.1%
Moyle 14.6% 53.1% 35.3% 2.8% 76.3% 5.0% 27.8% 3.3% 49.4% 17.8% 23.8% 19.8%
Newry and Mourne 7.1% 64.7% 28.0% 5.0% 76.3% 5.8% 26.8% 3.8% 34.6% 22.8% 22.1% 28.9%
Newtownabbey 24.7% 46.1% 34.1% 5.7% 80.9% 3.4% 30.1% 1.7% 63.1% 7.3% 32.1% 12.3%
North Down 37.1% 31.5% 36.1% 9.7% 78.8% 5.2% 31.9% 3.4% 63.7% 7.9% 35.7% 11.6%
Omagh 8.7% 55.7% 36.0% 4.4% 78.5% 4.9% 25.0% 2.5% 40.6% 15.9% 23.7% 28.9%
Strabane 8.9% 57.4% 35.4% 2.6% 79.2% 4.7% 25.2% 1.9% 40.9% 21.1% 25.5% 26.4%
Map of districts of Northern Ireland colour coded to show the predominant national identity amongst Catholics. Stronger green indicates a higher proportion of Catholics describing themselves as Irish. Blue indicates more Catholics describing themselves as British than as Irish. Percentages show the difference between the proportion of Catholics describing themselves as Irish and the proportion of Catholics describing themselves as British. Data from 2011 census


New Districts, 2015

Following the reform of local government in Northern Ireland the twenty-six districts created in 1973 will be replaced with eleven "super districts". The first election using these districts took place on 22 May 2014, electing councillors who will sit in shadow form until 1 April 2015. The breakdown of national identity within these new boundaries as at the 2011 census was as follows.[3]

District British Irish Northern Irish English, Scottish or Welsh All Other
Antrim and Newtownabbey 62.2% 16.0% 30.9% 1.7% 2.9%
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon 50.5% 25.2% 28.9% 1.3% 4.6%
Belfast 43.3% 35.1% 26.9% 1.5% 4.6%
Causeway Coast and Glens 54.3% 21.4% 31.3% 1.9% 2.2%
Derry and Strabane 26.2% 50.8% 26.5% 1.4% 1.8%
Fermanagh and Omagh 33.3% 38.3% 31.0% 1.4% 3.2%
Lisburn and Castlereagh 65.4% 14.8% 30.5% 2.1% 2.7%
Mid and East Antrim 71.4% 9.2% 29.4% 1.7% 2.6%
Mid Ulster 32.5% 38.8% 29.3% 1.0% 5.9%
Newry, Mourne and Down 28.5% 44.3% 30.4% 1.5% 3.3%
North Down and Ards 72.4% 8.3% 32.4% 2.4% 1.9%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, 2011 UK Census, National Identity (Classification 2) http://www.ninis2.nisra.gov.uk/public/pivotgrid.aspx?dataSetVars=ds-2427-lh-38-yn-2011-sk-136-sn-Census+2011-yearfilter--
  2. ^ a b "Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service". Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service". Retrieved 25 July 2014. 

External links[edit]