Small Area Population Estimates

Since the publication of the 2013 population estimates in June 2014, population estimates for areas within Northern Ireland are created using the Small Area Population Estimates (SAPE) methodology. Estimates are created for each of the 890 Super Output Areas (SOAs), which are then aggregated to create estimates for larger geographies, such as Local Government Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies. As a result, there is now one single release with a statistical bulletin, which provides analysis and commentary on the population changes for multiple geographies:

Most Recent Publication - Population and Migration Estimates 2014
4 June 2015

Next Planned Release - June 2016

Detailed Figures for Small Geographical Areas
Super Output Areas
Population by sex and broad age bands (2001-2014)
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Electoral Wards
Population by sex and broad age bands (2001-2014)
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Neighbourhood Renewal Areas
Population by sex and broad age bands (2001-2014)
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SAPE Map Icon

Census Small Areas

In a second step of the methodology, population estimates by SOA were broken down to 2011 Census Small Areas (SA2011). This was based on the rolled-forward 2011 Census and administrative data available at this level. When moving further away from 2011, administrative data sources become more important. There are a number of SAs for which the administrative data sources were distinctly different from the Census counts in 2011, which raises concerns about their future use in disaggregating SOA-level population estimates. In addition, spatial allocation to small geographical areas, particularly when using postcode-based data sources, can lead to inaccuracies. For these reasons, the publication of SA2011 level population estimates was suspended after the release of 2012 estimates. A review of the methodology and quality of data used to produce SA2011 population estimates is part of the 2015/16 Workplan. The outcome of this review is that new estimates for 2013 and 2014 will be published in November 2015, as well as revised estimates for 2012. These estimates will be accompanied by a methodology paper, quality report and user guidance.

This section of the website will be kept up to date with developments in this work. If you want to be added to our email list for SAPE, email us at

Detailed Figures for Census Small Areas
Census Small Areas
Population Totals (2001-2012)
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Previous Publications
Statistical Bulletin 2012 PDF Icon
Statistical Bulletin 2008 PDF Icon
Pre-Release Access List PDF Icon
Comparison of Population Estimates Across the UK (2011) PDF Icon

Small Area Population Estimates in the rest of the UK
Small Area Population Estimates for England and Wales Web Icon
Small Area Population Estimates for Scotland Web Icon