Northern Ireland is a region that is part of the United Kingdom. Its history dates back to the 1920s, when Ireland was split intro Southern and Northern regions. Northern Ireland is very populous, with a population of over 1.8 million. This is about 30% of Ireland’s total population and approximately 3% of the total population of the United Kingdom.

Northern Ireland Demographics

The vast majority of the population of Northern Island is white. White people comprise over 98% of the total population. Most of the people – over 88% -- were born in Northern Ireland. There are also residents from Brita in, the Republic of Ireland, and other areas. The biggest non-white ethnic groups are Chinese and Indian.

Over 41% of the population are Protestant or Roman Catholic. Approximately 17% are not affiliated with a religion or opted to not answer on the census. Almost half of the residents of Northern Ireland were brought up in home with a Protestant background. Forty-five percent came from homes where Catholicism was practiced.

Almost everyone in Northern Ireland speaks English. It is the de facto official language of Northern Ireland. However, some residents also speak Irish – also known as Gaelic.

Northern Ireland History

Beginning in the 19th century, the people of Ireland wanted to gain self-rule from Britain. The Irish Nationalist Party held power in the House of Commons but wanted to gain Home Rule for autonomy in internal affairs. The Parliament Act of 1911 put Ireland on the path to Home Rule.

There were people that were opposed to the idea. Irish unionists were against Home Rule. In 1912, an additional Home Run bill was introduced. However, there was some sympathy for the unionists. In 1914, four Ulster countries voted themselves out of provisions for a period of six years.

When World War I began, Ireland was becoming more divided. The general election of 1918 further divided the people and guerilla warfare led to the Anglo-Irish war. In 1920, the fourth Home Rule bill was introduced, splitting Ireland into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. Unionists continued to oppose this plan, seeing it as a betrayal. In 1922, the Irish Free State Constitution Act was passed.

In the years that followed, Ireland had seen its ups and downs. This includes boycotts, violence, and political discourse. Northern Ireland went through a period known as the troubles, which resulted in many deaths. However, an agreement in 1998 kicked off progress toward a more peaceful region. Today, Northern Ireland is very industrialized, and its economy has been on the upswing since the late 1990s, and unemployment has decreased significantly since the 1980s.

Northern Ireland Population Growth

The population of Northern Ireland has grown each year since the late 1970s. When the census was taken in 2011, the population rose 7.5% since the previous census taken in 2001. Based on these trends, it is expected that Northern Ireland will continue to see steady growth well into the future.

Northern Ireland Population 2024