Population Heads For Two Million

Official statistics just released show that the size of the resident population in Northern Ireland is currently estimated to be 1.775 million people - and is likely to reach 1.8 million by 2010.

Northern Ireland's population is also projected to reach 1.9 million by 2019 with longer-term projections indicating that the population will reach two million by the early 2030s.

These are some of the findings in the Annual Report of the Registrar General published by the Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) today.

The report provides information on births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships, adoptions and divorces registered in 2008.

Specifically, it said that the size of the Northern Ireland resident population rose in the year to 30 June 2008 by 15,900 people or 0.9% to 1,775,000 and noted that there are more births than deaths, leading to the population growing through natural change.

In the year to 30 June 2008, births exceeded deaths by 10,600; this is the highest level of natural change seen since the year to mid-1992.

Between 2007 and 2008, Craigavon and Dungannon Local Government Districts had the greatest increases in population (2.3% and 2.0%). These rates of increase are more than twice the Northern Ireland percentage increase of 0.9%.

While divorce statistics slowed, with 2,773 divorces granted in 2008 - a decrease of 140 divorces or 5% from the 2007 figure of 2,913 divorces - the 2008 figure is the second highest on record after the 2007 figure which was the highest number of divorces ever recorded in Northern Ireland.

Last year, there also less people 'getting hitched', with 8,510 marriages registered in Northern Ireland, a decrease of 177 marriages or 2% on the 2007 figure of 8,687 marriages.

NISRA also reported that the most common month to get married in 2008 was August (1,486 couples) followed by July (1,072 couples).

Friday 8 August 2008 was the most popular day in 2008 to get married, with 139 couples marrying on that date.

Among the many facts and figures recorded, NISRA also said that cancer is one of the most common causes of death with nearly 4,000 deaths annually.

Therefore this year the report contains an invited article entitled, 'A Review of Cancer Mortality in Northern Ireland', by Dr Anna Gavin and Dr David Donnelly of the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, Queen's University.


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