30 Sept 2022

CENSUS 2021: Drop in those identifying as 'British only' in Causeway Coast and Glens

There has also been a 15% increase in those identifying as 'Irish only'.

CENSUS 2021: Drop in those identifying as 'British only' in Causeway Coast and Glens

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has had a unionist majority since its inception. Pic: K Mitch Hodge/Unsplash.

The number of people within Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council who identify as 'British only' has fallen significantly since 2011, the results from last year's census have shown.

Data released on Thursday as part of the 2021 NI Census has shown a decrease of around 15% in those identifying as 'British only' in their responses.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has maintained a unionist majority since its inception, with 20 members from unionist parties and a further two independent unionists elected in 2019.

64,299 people within the Borough identified selected 'British only' in the 2011 census, with last year's figure showing 54,379, a decrease in 15% from ten years ago.

In contrast, the numbers identifying as 'Irish only' in the area have increased by almost the same scale, with 16% more ticking the 'Irish only' box than in 2011 taking the figure from 26,298 to 30,486.

Some of those no longer ticking the 'British only' box may have altered their outlook slightly, with the figures showing a 36% increase in those identifying as 'British or Northern Irish only'.

There was also an increase of 65% in those identifying as 'Irish or Northern Irish only', however the percentage only accounts for an extra 853 people.

The numbers identifying as 'Northern Irish only' stayed largely the same, with a 2% rise representing an extra 663 people since 2011.

Passport data has also changed dramatically, possibly owing to the UK's exit from the European Union in the intervening years.

Last year, 54,379 Causeway residents held only a UK passport, a decrease of 15% on the 2011 figure of 64,299, while those holding an Irish passport only rose by 56% from 18,680 to 54,379.

Numbers holding both a UK and Irish passport have increased dramatically, albeit with a relatively low total compared to those who hold single passports.

Causeway Coast and Glens recorded a huge 275% increase, rising from 1,884 dual passport holders in 2011 to 7,062 in 2021.


In keeping with the overall Northern Ireland figures, the number of people who deem themselves Catholic has also risen in Causeway Coast and Glens, albeit by a paltry 2%.

The figure marks an extra 1,224 people, but is in contrast with a 6% drop in those who chose Protestant on the form.

According to the latest census, there are now 4,652 less Protestants in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area.

With a 2% rise in Catholics and a 6% fall in Protestants, there is little surprise that the area recorded an increase of 18% for those choosing 'no religion' on the form.

The figure marked an extra 3,520 people in the Borough indicating they were of no religion in comparison with the 2011 census.


With an overall population increase of 1%, there was a difference of just 869 people between the 2011 and 2021 census records.

However, in keeping with the NI-wide results, the breakdown in ages revealed a population that is ageing, with 26% more people over the age of 65 living in the Borough than a decade ago.

In contrast, there has been a 3% decrease in the number of people under the age of 15 living in the Borough, with the figure falling from 26,871 to 25,964.

The number of people between the ages of 15 and 39 recorded a steep decrease of 12% - a difference of 5,350 – while those between 40 and 64 saw a slight increase of 3%.


With one-person households now the largest section across Northern Ireland, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has bucked the trend slightly.

18,258 of the area's households – the largest share – are two-person households, with 17,248 one-person households in the Borough.

However, one-person households represent the largest increase, with a rise of 21% on the 2011 figure of 14,217.

The largest decrease was in five-person households, with four and three-person households seeing small fluctuations; a 2% decrease and 3% rise respectively.


There may be disappointment among the Borough's Ulster Scots speakers that Causeway Coast and Glens did not top the table for those with 'some ability' in the language.

That accolade fell to Mid and East Antrim, but Causeway had the second highest number on 26,692, an increase of 11% on 2011's 23,974 figure.

Numbers with 'some ability' in Irish rose by 15% from 11,926 in 2011 to 13,701 in 2021, with 4,187 people (3% of the population) indicating that they could read, write and understand the language.

The same figure for Ulster Scots was recorded as 3,232 within Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, 2% of the area's population.

In terms of the population's main language, 134,147 people in the Borough indicated that English was their main language, an overwhelming 98% of the population.

Polish was the second most popular main language in the area, with 1,524 people, while Irish was in third place with 231 and Romanian fourth on 79.


Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is overwhelmingly of white ethnicity. Just 1.45% of respondents to the census selected an ethnicity other than white.

Its 98.55% figure for those of white ethnicity was the highest of all eleven council areas, meaning the district is the least ethnically diverse in Northern Ireland.

Of the 1.45%, the largest percentage (0.51%) were of mixed ethnicity, amounting to 721 people, while the next largest (0.22%) was those of Chinese ethnicity (313).

In terms of country of birth, 90% of all respondents indicated they were born in Northern Ireland, with the next largest percentage (4.23%) of residents being born in England and 1.93% in Ireland.

Outside of the UK and Ireland, 1.93% of Causeway Coast and Glens residents were born in other European Union countries.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.