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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Irish and Ulster-Scots in Northern Ireland

Some interesting figures have been published today into the knowledge and use of Irish and Ulster-Scots in Northern Ireland. The main findings, below, are the result of a survey carried out on behalf of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

Irish
  • In 2013/14, 15% of the population have some knowledge of Irish, i.e. they can understand, speak, read or write Irish. This is an increase on the 13% of the population who had some knowledge of Irish in 2011/12.
  • A higher proportion of Catholics (30%) have knowledge of Irish than both those with other or no religion (12%) and Protestants (3%).
  • Adults living in the least deprived areas are less likely to have knowledge of Irish than those living in the most deprived areas (13% and 19% respectively).
  • Four out of every 100 people (4%) use Irish at home, conversing with family or housemates, at least occasionally. A similar proportion (4%) use Irish socially, at least occasionally, conversing with friends or acquaintances.
  • Almost a half (49%) of adults agree that Irish is an important part of Northern Irish culture.

Ulster-Scots
  • In 2013/14, 17% of the population had some knowledge of Ulster-Scots, i.e. can understand, speak, read or write Ulster-Scots. This is an increase on the 15% of the population who had some knowledge of Ulster-Scots in 2011/12.
  • Gender, age, religious background, marital status, having a disability, having dependants and where adults live are all related to whether they have any knowledge of Ulster-Scots.
  • Six out of every hundred people (6%) use Ulster-Scots at home, conversing with family or housemates, at least occasionally. A similar proportion (7%) use Ulster-Scots socially, at least occasionally, conversing with friends or acquaintances.
  • More than two out of every five (42%) adults agree that Ulster-Scots is an important part of Northern Irish culture.