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dpa

London

Catholics outnumber Protestants in Northern Ireland for the first time since the partition of the island, census figures show.

Britain’s Census 2021 figures, published on Thursday, show that 45.7% of the region’s population said they were either Catholic or brought up as a Catholic.

The figures for Protestants (and other Christian faiths) was 43.5% while 1.5% were from non-Christian religions.

Northern Ireland had a significant Protestant majority when it was established in 1921 as part of the partition of Ireland. The last census, in 2011, recorded 48% of the population as being either Protestant or brought up Protestant, down five percentage points on 2001.

The Catholic population stood at 45% 11 years ago, up one percentage point on 2001.

The 2021 Census showed 9.3% of the population belonged to no religion - up from 5.6% in 2011.

The publication of the census traditionally prompts debate over what the figures mean for the constitutional future of Northern Ireland.

Some may draw a link between the religious breakdown and public opinion on the potential reunification of Ireland.

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23/09/2022
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