Northern Ireland’s first census of sexual orientation found that 2.1% of the region’s population identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or otherwise.

The 2021 census figures released on Tuesday showed that 31,600 people aged 16 and over have been identified as LGB+ in the region.

Approximately 1.364 million adults (90%) identified as straight or heterosexual, and 119,000 (8%) did not answer the question or chose not to say so.

By location, 4.1% in Belfast identified as LGB+ compared to 1.1% in Mid Ulster.

Figures show that Northern Ireland has the lowest percentage of people in the UK who identify as LGB+, after Wales (3%) and England (3.2%).

The Scottish census was taken separately a year later.

The Rainbow Project said it welcomed the opportunity to count LGBT+ people across the UK but expressed disappointment that no changes were made to allow gender identity to be counted in the Northern Ireland census.

“Today’s release is a significant first step in ensuring that all LGBTQIA+ people are counted and visible in our society, but much remains to be done,” they said.

The latest information released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) also looks at employment, qualifications and marital status.

It found that out of 1.515 million adults in Northern Ireland, 849,000 (56%) were employed, 42,000 (2.8%) were unemployed and 624,000 (41%) were not in the labor force due to retirement, long-term illness or disability.

Around one in three reported having a degree/NVQ 4 or higher as their highest level of qualification, while just under a quarter said they had no degree.

In terms of marital status, the proportion of married adults has fallen from 61% in 1971 to 46% in 2021 in the last six censuses, and the proportion of single adults has risen from 31% to 38%. .

Around 7% of the population aged three and over (127,000) reported being able to speak Irish and of these 70,000 reported speaking Irish at least once a week.

About 3.3% (61,000 people) aged three and over said they could speak Ulster-Scots, and 41,000 of these said they spoke Ulster-Scots at least once a week.

In terms of population composition, 13.5% (257,000) were born outside Northern Ireland, with 105,000 having moved to the region in the last 10 years and 66,000 having arrived between 2001 and 2010.

The 2021 census was conducted in March last year.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *