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This has the potential to significantly destabilize Northern Irish politics. The results of next year's census - which coincides with the centenary of Northern Ireland - could add to the confusion of how any potential border poll … TheJournal.ie supports the work of the Press Council of Ireland and the Office of the Press Ombudsman, and our staff operate within the Code of Practice. During the political violence of the last third of the 20th century, many Protestants moved away from western and border areas of Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the two-thirds Protestant majority saw the Catholic minority as a threat and had consolidated political power to the point that Catholics in the north no longer had an effective voice. Among schoolchildren, 51 per cent are Catholic and 37 per cent Protestant, while among the over 60s the proportion is reversed, with 57 per cent Protestant and 35 per cent Catholic. This is more back of the envelope and a “straw man” in nature and is in no way definitive. When British negotiators carved Northern Ireland from the newly independent south it was 65% Protestant, 35% Catholic, entrenching a unionist majority. Mr Nolan pointed out that although 45 per cent identified in the 2011 census as being from a Catholic background, only 25 per cent claimed an exclusively Irish identity. He said that although 45 percent identified as being Catholic in the 2011 census, only 25 percent of those surveyed claimed an exclusively Irish identity, the Irish News reports. Of course, it would be false to equate that with support for a united Ireland, and two events may well have more impact. Also the fact Catholic families are having more children than Protestant ones. However, the majority of the Northern Irish have forefathers who emigrated from England and Scotland and these two countries have been Protestant for almost 500 years. . Wed, Jan 4, 2012, 00:00. Figures from 2016 showed 44 percent of working age adults are Catholic while 40 percent are Protestant, and among the over 60s demographic 57 percent are Protestant and only 35 percent are Catholic. There are also small Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist a Roughly equal proportions of Roman Catholics and Protestants live in Belfast and County Armagh. The Catholic Church has seen a small growth in adherents, while the other Christian groups have seen a small decrease. Founded in 1921, Northern Ireland has always had a Protestant majority. Two-thirds of its population (about one million people) was Protestant and about one-third (roughly 500,000 people) was Catholic. “Three years from now we will end up, I think, in the ironic situation on the centenary of the state where we actually have a state that has a Catholic majority,” he told BBC News NI. "For my part though, I would never leave this island," he said. In fact, at current rates, the Catholics will be a majority after 2016. Its not going to go just in one direction," the academic said. It is likely Catholics will outnumber Protestants by 2021 in Northern Ireland, according to a leading academic. The Union Jack, the Irish tricolor and the EU flag flying above Stromont, in Northern Ireland. Party colleague Christopher Stalford said while Ms Foster's views were "reflective of a lot of unionists ( who) feel they would effectively be pushed into the Irish sea", he would not be among any exodus. The school population in Northern Ireland, through University level, has been heavily Catholic for many years, so it is only a matter of time before there will be a Catholic majority in the six counties. "We need to show that you can be British and Irish at the same time.". It is projected that by 2021 there will be more Catholics (51%) than Protestants (37%) in Northern Ireland. Christianity is the largest religion in Northern Ireland. Among schoolchildren, Catholics are at 51 percent compared to 37 percent Protestant. Every country should be a secular liberal democracy. "I think the more that gets unpacked, the more opinion will move back and forward. “The future of unionism depends entirely upon one thing – and I mean unionism with a small ‘u’ – it depends on winning the support of people who do not regard themselves to be unionists with a capital ‘U’,” he said. "The future of unionism depends entirely upon one thing - and I mean unionism with a small 'u' - it depends on winning the support of people who do not regard themselves to be unionists with a capital 'U'," he said. Gerry Moriarty . . There will be more Catholics than Protestants in Northern Ireland by 2021, according to one leading expert. Many Catholics in the region have been worried that Brexit will involve a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which would undermine the Good Friday Agreement. A report this week by the Catholic News Agency suggests that according to census data, Protestants outnumbered Catholics by just three percent in 2011, while more recent data show a Catholic majority “in every age group of the population, except for those over 60.”. "Does it mean one parliament in Dublin or two parliaments? 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