Num­ber of Catholics in Repub­lic down 6% lat­est cen­sus re­veals


THE num­ber of Catholics liv­ing in the Repub­lic of Ire­land is de­creas­ing, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Ir­ish Cen­sus fig­ures.

More than 3.7 mil­lion Catholics made up just over 78.3% of the Repub­lic’s pop­u­la­tion in April 2016, com­pared to 84.2% in 2011 — a drop of 132,220.

Mean­while, the num­ber of peo­ple to de­clare no reli­gion, in­clud­ing athe­ists/ag­nos­tics, in­creased by more than 70% over the same five-year pe­riod.

Ac­cord­ing to Cen­sus 2016 data re­leased yes­ter­day, 481,388 peo­ple stated they had no reli­gion — com­pared to 204,151 in 2011.

This group made up 10.1% of the pop­u­la­tion, com­pared with 6% five years pre­vi­ously.

Other changes in the re­li­gious make-up of the coun­try in­cluded a 28.9% in­crease in the num­ber of Mus­lim res­i­dents.

The statis­tics showed there were 63,443 Mus­lims in Ire­land in April 2016, up from 49,204 in 2011.

Al­most half were liv­ing in Dublin city and sub­urbs.

There was also an in­crease in the num­bers of Ortho­dox Chris­tians and the Apos­tolic and Pen­te­costal pop­u­la­tion.

Mem­bers of the Church of Ire­land de­creased slightly, as did the num­ber of Pres­by­te­ri­ans.

The data also showed that the Ir­ish Trav­eller pop­u­la­tion had grown by just over 5% from 29,495 in 2011 to 30,987 last year.

Al­most 60% of Trav­ellers were aged un­der 25, com­pared with just 33.4% of the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion.

More than 30% of Trav­ellers aged 15 to 29 were mar­ried, com­pared with 5.8% of the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, ed­u­ca­tional at­tain­ment among Trav­ellers con­tin­ues to lag sig­nif­i­cantly be­hind that of the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion and the vast ma­jor­ity — 80.2% — were un­em­ployed.

In terms of eth­nic com­po­si­tion, white Ir­ish re­mains the largest group, ac­count­ing for more than 80% of res­i­dents.

The vast ma­jor­ity (94.1%) of white Ir­ish peo­ple were born in the Repub­lic. Of the 5.9% (226,078) born else­where, over half (121,174) were born in Eng­land and Wales and 53,915 were born in North­ern Ire­land.

Over one in three of those with African eth­nic­ity (38.6%) were born in Ire­land (22,331 per­sons), along with 31.3% (2,126) of those with other black back­grounds.

Among those per­sons with Chi­nese eth­nic­ity, over half (55.7%) were born in China. THE gun­men who fired two shots at a house in north Belfast could have killed some­one, po­lice have said.

Shortly be­fore 7.25pm on Wednes­day po­lice re­ceived a re­port that two shots had been fired at the front door of a house in Up­per Meadow Street in the New Lodge.

A man in his 30s in the house at the time was not in­jured but left shaken by his or­deal.

A PSNI spokesman said: “Whilst no­body was in­jured as a re­sult of this shoot­ing it was a reck­less act that could have eas­ily re­sulted in death or se­ri­ous in­jury and yet an­other ex­am­ple of how crim­i­nal groups seek to con­trol com­mu­ni­ties through fear and vi­o­lence.”

SDLP coun­cil­lor Paul McCusker said: “The thugs be­hind this shoot­ing have noth­ing to of­fer the peo­ple of this city.”

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