People of Northern Ireland

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Northern Irish people
Total population
1,810,863
89% of the population of Northern Ireland are Northern Irish-born
Regions with significant populations
Throughout Northern Ireland
Religion
Protestantism and Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
British people
Irish people

The people of Northern Ireland (or Northern Irish people) are "all persons born in Northern Ireland and having, at the time of their birth, at least one parent who is a British citizen, an Irish citizen or is otherwise entitled to reside in Northern Ireland without any restriction on their period of residence,"[1] under the Belfast Agreement of the British and Irish Governments.


National Identity[edit]

In Northern Ireland national identity is complex and diverse. Many in Northern Ireland have a British national identity seeing the English, Scottish and Welsh as fellow members of their common nation while seeing those from the Republic of Ireland as foreigners. Many others in Northern Ireland see those from the Republic of Ireland as being members of their common nation encompassing the island of Ireland and see the English, Scottish and Welsh as foreigners. Co-existing with this dichotomy is a Northern Irish identity which can be held alone or, as is also the case with Englishness, Scottishness and Welshness, alongside a British identity, or alongside an Irish identity. A small number of people see themselves as being both British and Irish.

In the 2011 census respondents gave their national identity as follows.


Map of predominant national identity in the 2011 census in Northern Ireland


2011 Census[2]
National Identity Respondents
British
876,577
Northern Irish
533,085
Irish
513,390
English, Scottish or Welsh
29,187
Other
61,884


By Religion[3]

National Identity All Catholic Protestant and other Christian Other religions No religion
British 48.4% 12.9% 81.6% 50.1% 55.9%
Irish 28.4% 57.2% 3.9% 12.4% 14.0%
Northern Irish 29.4% 30.7% 26.9% 18.0% 35.2%
English, Scottish or Welsh 1.6% 0.8% 1.5% 2.9% 5.2%
All other 3.4% 4.4% 1.0% 29.1% 7.1%


Detail by religion[4]

National Identity All Catholic Protestant and other Christian Other religions No religion
British only 39.9% 10.3% 68.3% 42.4% 42.9%
Irish only 25.3% 53.2% 2.1% 8.1% 9.4%
Northern Irish only 20.9% 26.9% 14.5% 12.0% 23.7%
British and Northern Irish only 6.2% 0.9% 11.1% 3.3% 7.9%
Irish and Northern Irish only 1.1% 2.0% 0.2% 0.5% 0.8%
British, Irish and Northern Irish only 1.0% 0.8% 1.0% 1.0% 2.1%
British and Irish only 0.7% 0.8% 0.5% 0.7% 1.0%
English, Scottish or Welsh only 1.0% 0.6% 0.8% 2.1% 3.5%
Other 4.0% 4.7% 1.6% 29.9% 8.7%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%


By District[5]

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
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[6]

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%


By Age[7]

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 a higher proportion of 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
Ages attained (years) British Irish Northern Irish English, Scottish or Welsh All other
0 to 15 45.1% 31.4% 30.5% 0.9% 3.6%
16 to 24 44.2% 32.3% 29.6% 1.5% 3.3%
25 to 34 40.5% 31.0% 30.0% 1.7% 8.6%
35 to 44 47.3% 28.7% 29.3% 2.1% 4.5%
45 to 54 50.8% 28.3% 28.0% 1.9% 2.2%
55 to 64 54.5% 24.9% 28.8% 1.9% 1.1%
65 to 74 57.5% 21.3% 29.8% 1.7% 0.4%
75 to 84 58.6% 19.6% 29.1% 1.6% 0.3%
85 and over 61.7% 18.0% 26.5% 2.0% 0.2%

Surveys[edit]

According to the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey,[8] individuals from Northern Ireland identify as (best preference choice):

In the 2007 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey,[9] the question was asked, "thinking about each of these national identities in turn, how strongly do you feel yourself to be [Irish/British/Northern Irish/Ulster?]" Individuals responded for each of the identities as follows:

Northern Irish

  • Very strongly 50%
  • Not very strongly 34%
  • Not at all 15%
  • Don't know 0%

British

  • Very strongly 37%
  • Not very strongly 41%
  • Not at all 22%
  • Don't know 0%

Irish

  • Very strongly 36%
  • Not very strongly 41%
  • Not at all 23%
  • Don't know 0%

Ulster

  • Very strongly 31%
  • Not very strongly 40%
  • Not at all 28%
  • Don't know 1%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Good Friday Agreement guarantees the "recognition of the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose."
    "Agreement reached in the multi-party negotiations". Conflict Archive on the INternet. University of Ulster. 10 April 1998. Retrieved 13 May 2008. 
  2. ^ http://www.ninis2.nisra.gov.uk/Download/Census%202011_Winzip/2011/DC2106NI%20(a).ZIP
  3. ^ http://www.ninis2.nisra.gov.uk/Download/Census%202011_Winzip/2011/DC2239NI%20(a).ZIP
  4. ^ http://www.ninis2.nisra.gov.uk/Download/Census%202011_Winzip/2011/DC2237NI%20(a).ZIP
  5. ^ http://www.ninis2.nisra.gov.uk/Download/Census%202011_Winzip/2011/DC2240NI%20(a).ZIP
  6. ^ http://www.ninis2.nisra.gov.uk/Download/Census%202011_Winzip/2011/DC2240NI%20(a).ZIP
  7. ^ http://www.ninis2.nisra.gov.uk/Download/Census%202011_Winzip/2011/DC2106NI%20(a).ZIP
  8. ^ "Which of these best describes the way you think of yourself?". Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey. ARK - Access Research Knowledge. 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2008. 
  9. ^ "Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey 2007". Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey. ARK - Access Research Knowledge. 22 December 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2010.