NEWS

Donegal Census figures show drop in number of Catholics and an increase in those with no religion

Democrat Reporter

Reporter:

Democrat Reporter

Email:

editorial@donegaldemocrat.com

Donegal Census figures show drop in number of Catholics and an increase in those with no religion

Census figures just released show there was a fall of over 7,000 in the number of Catholics in Donegal, while the number of people ascribing to no religion has increased by just over 3,000 people.

Catholicism remains the predominant religion, accounting for 81.9% (130,317) of Donegal’s population
in April 2016. However, this was down from 137,639 persons five years previously. The average age
of Catholics in the county was 38.4 years, just below the average age of 38.5 years for the county’s
overall population.

In 2011, there 5,161 people with no religion in the county which equated to 3.2% of Donegal’s population. By 2016, this had increased to 8,172 people comprising 5.1% of the county’s population. The information comes from the CSO in a profile on Irish Travellers, Ethnicity and Religion.

As with the State overall, the next largest group was those with no religion. In 2011, the 5,161 people with no religion comprised 3.2% of Donegal’s population. By 2016, this had increased to 8,172 people comprising 5.1% of the county’s population. Their average age was 36.9 years, making them 1.6 years younger on average than the county’s population overall.

The 6,756 Church of Ireland members in the county comprised 4.2% of its total population. On average, Church of Ireland members in Donegal were almost three years older (41.5 years) than the overall population in the county. Presbyterians (5,877) and Muslims (747) completed the top five.

The figures also  shows there were 588 Irish Travellers enumerated in County Donegal in April 2016 which is a fall of almost 19 per cent from figures enumerated in 2011.

This was a fall of 136 (-18.8%) on the number in 2011 (724). They made up less than 1 in 200 (0.4%) of the county’s population. Nationally, Travellers accounted for less than 1 in 100 of the total population (0.7%).

There were more male (306) than female (282) Travellers. Almost half (49%) of all Travellers in the county were aged under 20, compared to fewer than 3 in 10 (29.2%) of the county’s overall population.


Ethnicity
In April 2016, those who indicated a “White Irish” ethnic or cultural background amounted to 140,196 people (89.5% of the county’s population), a decline of 3,654 on 2011. The next largest grouping –
“Any Other White background” accounted for 8,814 persons (5.6%), a decline of 869.
Those with “Black or Black Irish (African/any other Black background)” comprised 678 persons (0.4%) while 1,527 persons (1%) indicated an “Asian or Asian Irish (Chinese/any other Asian background)”.

A further 1,357 (0.9%) stated they were of “Other, including mixed background” while 3,515 (2.2%) did not state their ethnic/cultural background.

Below is a summary of some of the headline results from Census 2016 for County Donegal, together with
comparisons for Ulster (part) and the State as a whole: