Census shows Craigavon religious gap narrowing

THE gap between the number of Catholics and Protestants in Craigavon is narrowing according to the latest census statistics.

Catholics now make up almost 46% of the borough as a rise of two percent while there are 48% Protestants - a slump of around four per cent.

The figures published this week show that there are 42,735 Catholics and 44,686 Protestants in the area with 851 brought up in other religions and 4751 brought up in none.

Indeed Craigavon has the sixth highest number of Catholics in Northern Ireland.

The figures, published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, show there are 45.94% Catholics and 48.04% who describe themselves as Protestant and Other Christian (including Christian related).

This compares to the figures of 2001 when there were 42,656 Protestants (52.88%) and 36042 Catholics (44.68%).

During the 2001 census only 373 people said they had another religion or philosophy.

The 2011 Census which was taken on March 27, showed there were 2.07% from an ethnic minority population and the remaining 97.93% were white (including Irish Travellers).

And it revealed that 48.25% in Craigavon indicated they had a British national identity, 25.59% had an Irish national identity and 28.71% had a Northern Irish national identity. Respondents could indicate more than one national identity.

Of those in the district aged three and older, 10.18% had some knowledge of Irish, 5.09% had some knowledge of Ulster-Scots and 6.05% did not have English as their first language.

It is also revealed that 20.67% of people in the district had a long-term health problem or disability that limited their day-to-day activities, 78.97% of people said their general health was either good or very good and 11.65% stated they provided unpaid care to family, friends, neighbours or others.

It showed that 65.84% of households were owner occupied and 31.11% were rented; 29.29% of households were owned outright; 10.36% of households were comprised of a single person aged 65+ years; 9.39% were lone parent households with dependent children; and 22.11% of households did not have access to a car or van.