NI Census, Atheist Count and Media Inconsistencies with Data Reporting

census 2011 logoThe 2011 Census data released today continued the growing trend of religiosity losing its majority populace throughout the UK. In Northern Ireland 16.86% of the population responded as having “no religion” or “did not state religion” whereas the response for “persons with no religion or religion not stated” in the 2001 census was 13.88% — this marks a small increase of an increase of 2.98%.

In England and Wales the number of people selecting “no religion” increased from 15% in 2001 to 25% in 2011.

The NI data reveals 48% of the resident population are either Protestant or brought up Protestant, a drop of 5% from the 2001 census.

However, the numbers show that 45% of the resident population are either Catholic or brought up Catholic, yet only 41% Catholic on census day.

  • 41% Catholic
  • 19% Presbyterian
  • 14% Church of Ireland
  • 5.8% other Christian or Christian-related denominations
  • 3% Methodist
  • 0.8% other religions and philosophies

Putting this with the figures for national identity — the first time this question has been asked — the overall statistics become much more interesting as well bringing a better understanding of the politics of people in Northern Ireland. Just 25% regard themselves as Irish only. This just shows there is not a definable correlation between religion and national identity/voting pattern.

According to the BBC

7% say they either belong to another religion or none

And the UTV reported this as

Just over 5% of people in Northern Ireland said they do not belong to any religion

Each news outlet is taking different data to be the correct response.
The BBC are giving the number of 6.75% of those who “who did not state religion” for Question 17 which asked “What religion, religious denomination or body do you belong to?”. While UTV gave the number of those 5.59% of those who answered “none” to Question 18 which asked “What religion, religious denomination or body were you brought up in?”.

Neither of these take into consideration the 10.11% of people who answered “No Religion” under the same Question 17.

This inaccuracy of the data reporting is extremely important, and it’s a shame to see the media portray the numbers incorrectly. The numbers of those who have no religion are

Jill Farquhar states why this is important:

As politicians use the census statistics to form policy and allocate resources this type of misrepresentation is extremely significant. The use of data conflating religion with religious background produces an image of Northern Ireland which is significantly more religious and significantly less diverse than is actually the case. This reinforces the Catholic/Protestant binary and justifies the continued intrusion of religion into lawmaking in NI (see the restrictive abortion legislation for example).

More broadly, the conflation of ‘religion’ with ‘religious background’ perpetuates the idea that the religion of our parents defines our own religious identity and produces religion as something essential to the individual rather than something which can be changed, challenged and/or rejected.

For the purposes of the NI census, it seems, atheists really are ‘catholic atheists’ or ‘protestant atheists’.

Based on the data in English and Wales, the British Humanist Association (BHA) has calculated that if the change in Christianity shown between 2001 and 2011 continues, then Christians would be recorded as being in the minority from September 2018.

This is highly significant data as we watch rationality become the norm, yet there are still continued efforts to be done in education, particularly in Northern Ireland, which has seen a rise in Atheism and secularism, and indeed a growing progressive liberal community, however this has been much smaller than elsewhere in the UK.

Below is the data comparing the 2011 census data with that from 2001:

77 thoughts on “NI Census, Atheist Count and Media Inconsistencies with Data Reporting

  1. I blog quite often and I seriously thank you for your information. This article has really peaked my interest.
    I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about once a week.
    I opted in for your Feed too.

    ReplyReply
  2. I got this web page from my pal who told me on the topic of this web site and at the moment this time I am browsing
    this web site and reading very informative articles here.

    ReplyReply
  3. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it
    for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out
    where u got this from. many thanks

    ReplyReply
  4. Hi there i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read this post i thought
    i could also make comment due to this brilliant article.

    ReplyReply
  5. you are actually a just right webmaster. The web site loading speed is incredible.
    It kind of feels that you are doing any unique trick.
    Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you have done a excellent job in this topic!

    ReplyReply
  6. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be at the net the simplest
    thing to consider of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed at the same time as people consider worries that
    they just do not understand about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and also outlined out the entire thing without having side-effects , other people could
    take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thank you

    ReplyReply
  7. You virtually download an android phone emulator. Single-hung
    windows have almost no moving components, helping to make their production cheaper and easier.
    Once introduced, it auto detects your webcam and permits getting snaps.

    ReplyReply
  8. I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this site.
    I really hope to view the same high-grade content from you
    in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities
    has encouraged me to get my own, personal blog
    now ;)

    ReplyReply
  9. Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that
    this web site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the information!

    ReplyReply
  10. In all their movements there is a solemn deliberation that it is most
    entertaaining to watch Nothing can hurry them.

    The three men who had jumped thee doctor’s clazim had done about as much work iin the forty-eight hours he had been away
    aas he had done himself in thee six weks he had been there; and from the rapidity with which thhey progressed, it behame perfectly apparent
    that long before the Warden could arrive the biggest part of his claim would
    bbe worked out. Another good way on having your crowns is thee “Earn Crowns” tab you will come across while you play this online game.

    Here is my web-site; Teen Patti Hack Android

    ReplyReply
  11. Hey! I know this is kind of off topic but
    I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

    ReplyReply
  12. both are beginning to show results in the USA today, about 18 months later
    than we’d hoped, but. Like a grizzly bear awakened from a winter hibernation, he lumbered forward with tunnel vision putting miles
    of distance between himself and the outskirts of town. Combat just boils down to simple rush
    tactics with the browns able to handle everything.

    ReplyReply
  13. Definitely, you want Google to such as your blog and rank it
    highly, but their vital thing was for your audience to including it, understand that
    it, and to keep coming back once again. SEO offers given a perspective to website developers that want to develop rule that actually works.
    The Compete Toolbar was a a must tool for webmasters.

    ReplyReply
  14. Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for info approximately this topic for
    ages and yours is the best I have came upon till now.
    But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure in regards to the
    source?

    ReplyReply
  15. Good day! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.

    Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very
    techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where
    to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thank you

    ReplyReply
  16. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your blog?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    ReplyReply
  17. Hey there! I’ve been reading your website for some time now and finally got the courage to
    go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Texas!
    Just wanted to say keep up the good work!

    Stop by my web page: costa rica

    ReplyReply
  18. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get bought an shakiness over that you wish
    be deliverinbg the following. unweol unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly thhe same
    nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

    Here is myy weblog unique gifts ffor wife (http://sarahiferran.inhio.org/)

    ReplyReply
  19. I think everything published was very logical.
    But, think about this, what if you were too create a killer post title?
    I am not saying your content is not solid., however whyat iif you addedd
    a post title that makes people wznt more? I medan NI
    Census, Atheist Count and Media Inconsistencies with Data Reporting | iced coffee is
    a little boring. You could glance at Yahoo’s
    home page and note how they create news titles to get people interested.
    Yoou might add a video or a picture or two to grab readers excited about what you’ve written. In my opinion, itt might make
    your bog a littfle bit more interesting.

    Visit my site :: coconut water from thailand; http://www.kittoo.com/jeux-gratuit/profile/edsimons,

    ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>