What can the Census offer the sector?

NICVA brought together the statisticians and the sector to see what the Census has to offer, what information can be mined from it and how it might help form evidence based policy positions.

Robert Beatty, Head of Census with NISRA and Dr Ian Shuttleworth from Queens University Belfast, joined us at the seminar, not only to examine the figures released in December, but also to look at what other information will be made available and to explore how it can be used to benefit the voluntary and community sector, for strategic planning purposes, lobbying, and campaigning on specific issues.

While most media pundits focused on the headline numbers on identity and religion in the census figures published in December there is much more information available and more will continue to be released during 2013.


NICVA - Census Seminar from NICVA on Vimeo.

Robert Beattie and Dr Ian Shuttleworth presented the current stats and demonstrated how organisations can put the extensive resource of the Census to good use.  Dr Shuttleworth also highlighted Northern Ireland Life and Times (NILT) as a valuable resource for more extensive statistical research.

The event was extremely popular and many of the voluntary and community sector groups present see huge potential in the data, especially from a research and policy perspective. 

Given the feedback, NICVA is considering the options of further developing this discussion and investigating the resource. One suggestion has been to hold smaller training sessions for voluntary and community sector organisations on how they can get the data and research they need from the census. 

For further information or to declare an interest in this contact [email protected]

Some stats which may be of interest:
  • 94% of the population completed a Census form.
  • The population in Northern Ireland has increased by 7.5% since 2001 to just over 1.8million and while the amount of children under 16 fell from 24% to 21%, people aged 65 and older grew from 13% to 15% over the last 10 years.
  • Minority ethnic groups also saw a large rise from 0.8% in 2001 to 1.8% (32,400) of the population.
  • In Health, 21% of the population responded, saying they have a long term health problem or disability which limits their day to day activities. 
  • 5.8% of households with children had no adults in employment. Lone parent households also grew by 27% (50,500 to 63,900) since 2001 with 91% of lone parents being female.  Employment in lone parents increased from 20% to 31% for part-time and 20% to 22% for full-time over the ten year period and the percentage of lone parents not in work fell from 60% to 47%.
  • 19% of the population do not have a passport, 57% have a British passport, 19% have an Irish passport and 2% have both.




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