Wednesday 3 March 2010

Ebb and Flow

Following on from the recent post about the Schools Census and its consequences for the future, this blog would like to draw attention to a very interesting site on which some key outcomes of the 2001 decennial census are displayed in map form. This blog would also like to thank the creator of the site for permission to publicise it.

The site – http://nireland2001.webs.com/ – contains numerous detailed maps, at the level of province (Ulster), Northern Ireland (six counties), the six counties individually, and all of the main towns. For each area it compares the proportion of the population over 75 years of age to the proportion between 0 and 4 according to Community Background (Religion Or Religion Brought Up In), as recorded in the 2001 Census.

The maps show areas that are majority Protestant (community background) in orange, with the shade deeper or paler according to the strength of the Protestant majority. For areas with a Catholic (community) majority, the same is done but in green. To give a taste of the site, the example of County Antrim is shown below; all the other counties and towns are on the site itself, and are well worth a look [Antrim, Down, Armagh, Fermanagh, Derry, Tyrone]

The information is displayed for each ward, of which there are around 500 in Northern Ireland, and thus allows quite a detailed view of the situation.

Map 1: those over 75 years of age at the time of the 2001 census:


Map 2: those between 0 and 4 years of age at the time of the 2001 census:


Quite a few things stand out in these maps – here are a few examples:
  • Rathlin Island – the rumoured vote for Ian Paisley on Rathlin may have been true, because a majority of those over 75 were Protestant (community). But their grandchildren's generation is over 90% Catholic (community)! However, as the ward includes both Rathlin and Bonamargy on the mainland, it is hard to draw conclusions about the island itself.
  • South East Antrim – deeply orange-coloured amongst the over-75s, but much paler and less homogenous amongst the children.
  • Look at how the green tide is spreading south from the Glens – Carnlough, which is less than 70% Catholic (community) amongst its old people, is over 90% Catholic (community) amongst its children. Glenarm, majority Protestant (community) amongst its old people, is over 50% Catholic (community) amongst its young. Glenravel (in Ballymena Borough) is even more dramatic – its old people are over 50% Protestant (community), but its young people are over 70% Catholic (community).
  • The North-West electoral area of Antrim Borough has only one majority-Catholic (community) ward – Toome – amongst its old people, but four out of the five wards have a Catholic (community) majority amongst its young.
  • Crumlin – as many know – has seen a dramatic change in its religious demographics, as has Rasharkin too.
The same effects can be seen all over Northern Ireland, as the numerous maps on the site show. As a way of visualising the changes that are making themselves felt in Northern Ireland – and that will intensify – the maps are invaluable.

Two maps also show a simple majority-Protestant or majority-Catholic image of Northern Ireland as a whole. The difference between the older people (map 3) and the younger people (map 4) is stark, and is reminiscent of the sea-shore as the tide comes in, flooding the orange sand with green water and leaving ever-smaller orange islands.

Map 3: those over 75 years of age at the time of the 2001 census:

Map 4: those between 0 and 4 years of age at the time of the 2001 census:

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Took a look at that site, unreal, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

What a great resource Horseman! Truly a good find.

The times, they are a-changing... the gerrymandered statelet is gradually dying.

Dan said...

Great to see what we all suspect shown in glorious technicolour!!

Those kids are now 9-13 years old will start voting over the next decade or so!

Dan

Anonymous said...

Ye, but will they be voting for Irish Unity?

Anonymous said...

The most dramatic change is in Belfast, once upon a time all the cities in Ireland had loyalist majorities, soon none of them will.

Re Irish unity, no one really knows at this stage, the status quo on the other hand will definitely go.

Anonymous said...

Confusing Catholics and Nationalists again?

Anonymous said...

In french we say "fondre comme neige au soleil" or melt like snow in the sun.

Ivan said...

''Confusing Catholics and Nationalists again?''

Good point. I'd forgotten aboutthose Protestant nationalists; the blogmaster being a case in point; who have to keep their heads down for obvious reasons.

picador said...

Unionism is gaining in north Tyrone!

Anonymous said...

if ya get the time, would you go through the counties like you did with antrim?

hoboroad said...

Is that green dot on map 4 Bangor on the North Down coast?

Paddy Canuck said...

"I'd forgotten aboutthose Protestant nationalists; the blogmaster being a case in point"

You think Horseman's a Protestant?

Horseman said...

hoboroad,

It is - I think Bangordub has been doing his bit!

It's a bit worrying for unionism, though, to see green blots appeariong even in North Down.

Ivan said...

"You think Horseman's a Protestant?"
If my memory serves me well, he openly declared himself as such.

Horseman said...

Paddy Canuck,

I was born and raised in the Church of Ireland. My parents are still active members, but I am a committed atheist.

I had the dubious benefits of going to a Protestant (and very unionist) school, and know quite a few of the players on the other team.

My blood, though seems to be far thinner than water!

;-)

Paddy Canuck said...

"I was born and raised in the Church of Ireland. My parents are still active members, but I am a committed atheist."

Aye, but are ye prod atheist or taig atheist? :D

I'm an atheist myself, of the other background. Oddly enough, the two churches I actually admire in Canada, for their social stands and maturity, are the Anglican and United Church of Canada (a century-old amalgamation of the majority of Presbyterian, Methodist, and other churches in Canada, to which my father's father belonged: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_church_of_canada). So I'm a Protestant Catholic atheist, myself. :D

Your background sounds very interesting. Once Ivan (Cooper? :)) suggested you might have a Protestant background, I started looking through much older postings for what would have made your opinions so different from most people of Protestant backgrounds in the north. Have you written about that, and could you tell us where? Or would you be willing to, in extremely general terms? I think that would be a fascinating read.

Horseman said...

Paddy Canuck,

I suppose I'm a prod atheist, insofar as I've never had any connection with the Catholic church so know little of its rites and rutuals. Most of my wedding and funeral attendences tend to be Prod.

Culturally its not so clear though. I'm a modern Irishman, which implies a wide and eclectic mix of cultures, but I love the Irish language and some traditional music - but then I love English too, and my favourite music tends to be English too. Luckily in our modern world these things are not inconsistent!

I don't want to go into any introspection on why I am anti-unionist, as I'd have trouble doing so without giving away more about myself than I'm comfortable doing. Suffice it to say that I am a conviction republican, rather than a hereditary one. I think I'm not entirely alone in that.

Paddy Canuck said...

Hi, Horseman; I understand, in your situation, it must be a rough thing. Both atheism AND nationalist sentiments. I think people are always stirred by stories of folks whose upbringing does not restrain them from perceiving something different. Billy Leonard, for instance; I know nothing about whatever it was that brought about his (obviously profound) change of sentiment, but I can't help thinking it would be a revelation.

All in all, it might be what gives your blog that something special. The intelligence is there, but the drive to keep posting and stating the case... clearly, that comes from somewhere else, at least in part. There's logic on both sides. Which argument appeals... that says something about who one is, I think.

Anonymous said...

Good on you, Horseman.

Anonymous said...

Ye, I agree. It would be useful to have a lot more detail on Horseman...

Ivan said...

No I'm not Ivan Cooper - it's just a nom de plume.

Ivan said...

P.S. To get around the phenomenon of Prods and Taigs who don't actually buy into their parent theologies but still feel some tribal affiliation the terms 'cultural Catholics' and 'cultural Protestants' have been invented.

Horseman said...

Ye, I agree. It would be useful to have a lot more detail on Horseman...

Exactly the kind of reaction that makes me glad I keep my identity to myself.

;-)

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder if Horseman actually works for The UK State. He could be trying to lead Ulster's Nationalists up the garden path with all this demographic mumbo jumbo. "We're on our way lads, any decade now, etc, etc, etc". That way they'll stay away from those who've stayed true to the old cause...

Alternatively, of course, he could be working for The Irish State, or even SF - for exactly the same reasons...

He's already admitted to being a Protestant (lapsed - whatever) who attended a staunch Unionist school. What else might he be hiding?

LOL

Paddy Canuck said...

"No I'm not Ivan Cooper - it's just a nom de plume."

Rats. Loved you as James Nesbitt in Bloody Sunday. :D

Paddy Canuck said...

"Exactly the kind of reaction that makes me glad I keep my identity to myself."

Horseman is secretly the Reverend Doctor! That's how he KNOWS Ulster's doomed. ;)

Anonymous said...

Lads :

Let's all just be mightily happy in the knowledge that Horseman is on the good guys side.


- Munsterman

Anonymous said...

'Let's all just be mightily happy in the knowledge that Horseman is on the good guys side.'

Oh, I didn't know he'd converted to Unionism.

paul said...

"Lads :

Let's all just be mightily happy in the knowledge that Horseman is on the good guys side.


- Munsterman"


here here lad.

iCarryduff said...

I'm a regular reader of this blog, and indeed this was one of a number of sites which prompted me to create nireland2001.

I should have posted a comment on this thread before now.

The website (http://nireland2001.webs.com/) does NOT show a proportional increase in the "catholic/catholic community background" section of the population, but a decline in the "protestant/protestant community background".

Having looked at the statistics for every Census Output Area in the region, I can say that;

whilst it is true to say that where the "p/pcb" proportion is in decline the "c/ccb" is on the rise, there are a small number of examples where there exists pluralities. For example, Bangor was mentioned (the same could be said btw of Whitehead, Co. Antrim) in which there appears areas of greenery - this does NOT indicate that the census figures depict a "c/ccb" majority, ONLY that there is a "p/pcb" minority" (in fact I could well imagine the said areas being "p/pcb" 33% and "c/ccb" 25%). This issue is compounded on a less local scale by the fact that in the 2001 census many parents of children aged 0-4 did not state a religion for their children.

Why make the site then?

Because these figures are nevertheless indicative of future trends. Horseman's posts with relation to the school census are exceptionally telling. (That is, that whilst according to the 2001 census a great deal of persons between 0-4 years of age seemingly had neither a religion nor a community background, within a decade that age cohort seems to have aquired one.)

On a latter, slightly-less-related point, I would encourage anyone to study the census. It is worth noting that many of the areas allocated a colour, in theory should be white. This is because in a small number of locations there simply were no recorded persons aged between 0 and 4 years. Interestingly these seemed to occur almost only (or at the very least over 80% of the time) in areas in which the overwhelming majority of the local population declared themselves as "p/pcb", eg. Carrickfergus, Bangor, eastern Belfast. This could be attributed to economic, social or other factors (whatever they be - I'm not qualified to comment, and I would encourage those who may be, to do so).

In such instances (no persons 0-4) I opted for the next oldest age cohort.

There were also a small number of localities in which the populations of both "p/pcb" and "c/ccb" people was exactly 50%-50%. In which cases I sided with historic presedence, again referring to the next oldest age cohort.

Furthermore, if you have been affected by any of the issues raised on this thread or the afore mentioned website, et cetera ad nausium, contact me at any time on ni2001webs at live dot ie.

(Cuirim fáilte roimh chomhfhreagras i nGaeilge - I welcome correspondence in Gaelic)

Yours
-iCarryduff

Coll Ciotach said...

ever think of using this?

http://www.gapminder.org/upload-data/motion-chart/

would be very interesting

Horseman said...

Coll Ciotach,

Thanks, that looks interesting. I must try it out next time I have some data to present. I'm a big fan of Excel (as my graphs probably reveal), but it lacks that kind of functionality.

picador said...

iCarryduff,

Your site is very interesting but perhaps a little misleading for the reasons you stated above, i.e. it conveys the impression that CBC kids form a majority in some wards / output areas where that might not in fact be the case.

Have you considered using additional shades to show the wards / output areas with CBC and PBC pluralities?

Lean ar aghaidh leis an obair mhaith.

picador

iCarryduff said...

The site (niireland2001) cannot at any time convey the impression that "c/ccb" persons aged 0-4 form the majority in any geographical area, by virtue of their non-presence on the site. The site merely deals with demographical changes within the "p/pcb" portion of the population. The examples cited above are few and far between, and in no way represent the general picture. Generally persons of both age groups studied were recorded as being either "c/ccb" or "p/pcb". Few deviated.

Why was orange chosen? Due to its historical association with Ulster protestants.
One could logically argue that green should not have been used as a converse to the orange. White and black struck me as alternatives, but they lacked (particularly the white) contrast, I felt, with the orange.
Further more, in the overwhelming majority of instances a "p/pcb" majority was accompanied with a corresponding "c/ccb" minority and vice versa. A common historical colour associated with that section of the populous is green, and thus it was chosen. Had I time back again I very possibly would have chosen different colours.

In any event, however, the colours do not impact upon the statistics.

If the presence of green is perceived as representing a "c/ccb" majority 100% of the time, it is perceived so in the eyes of the perceiver. Nowhere (to my best knowledge) on the site did I mention that green on the maps meant a "c/ccb" majority, ONLY that orange indicated a "p/pcb" majority.

I considered making a comparitive site focused on the corresponding figures of "c/ccb" persons, but alas that would be another project, and again, take up a tremendous amount of my free time which is currently slim and slimming yet.

Yours
-iCarryduff

Horseman said...

iCarryduff,

I'm not certain I understand what you're saying. Clearly some areas have a c/ccb majority amongst the 0-4 age group - the census tables show that.

Which tables did you use, btw? I have only stats at ward level - have you tables for smaller areas?

Where you say "Nowhere (to my best knowledge) on the site did I mention that green on the maps meant a "c/ccb" majority" you lose me, since you present a very clear palette under "Forbhreathnú / Overview" on the main page - which refers only to the 'Catholic' percentage. Are we talking about the same thing?

iCarryduff said...

"Clearly some areas have a c/ccb majority amongst the 0-4 age group" True. But the site does not deal with the census figures for the "c/ccb" section of the population. The overwhelming majority of the timeareas with a "p/pcb" minority have a "c/ccb" majority. I was trying to draw attention to the small number of locations in which this was not the case. I know that areas such as these exist in Bangor, Co. Down and Whitehead, Co. Antrim - they have "p/pcb", but not "c/ccb" majorities.

"Which tables did you use"?
Census Output Area statistics available from http://www.nisranew.nisra.gov.uk/census/Census2001Output/CASTables/cas_tables_oa.html.
Census Output Area maps available from http://www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk/mapxtreme/MapCatalogue_OAMaps.asp and from http://www.nisranew.nisra.gov.uk/census/Geography/lgds.html

"Are we talking about the same thing?" We are talking about the same thing. That map of Ulster is the one map on the site that does deal with the "c/ccb" population. My knowledge evidently is not at its best, being rather low at any rate.

A correction would read "Nowhere (to my best knowledge, with the notable exception of the map of Ulster in the Overview section of the main page) on the site did I mention that green on the maps meant a "c/ccb" majority".

My appologies for lack of clarification.

Anonymous said...

I have checked your link to NISRA for maps, and I cannot find a copy of the Northern Ireland Map showing all output areas. I can only seem to get electoral ward maps divided into the smaller output areas. Can you help?