30/09/2002

Census figures show 5% rise in NI population

Northern Ireland's population has risen to almost 1.7m, according to the latest Census Day figures.

The census, which was taken last year, showed that the province's population had increased by 5% since the last count in 1991 and that there was now a higher proportion of young people under the age of 16 than the rest of the UK.

Figures also revealed that there are now more women living in the province than men. There was also a 7% increase in the number of pensioners, although this figure was still below the UK average.

The report published today is the first in a series of Census bulletins expected over the coming months.

Statistics on the religious breakdown of the population will not be released until the end of the year but are expected to show a big increase in the Catholic population compared to Protestants.

(MB)

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