Following the publication of Northern Ireland level population projections (published in October 2017), NISRA subsequently produces official sub-national population projections for areas within Northern Ireland. These sub-national projections are based on 2016 mid-year estimates and assumptions regarding future fertility, mortality and migration for areas within Northern Ireland. In keeping with past practice, these local level projections are constrained to the most recent Northern Ireland level population projections. Projections are available for both current and former Local Government Districts, Health and Social Care Trusts and former Education and Library Boards.
The key findings are:
The population in each Local Government District (LGD) in Northern Ireland is projected to grow and age.
Over the 10 year period from mid-2016 to mid-2026, Northern Ireland’s population is projected to grow by 4.2 per cent (i.e. 77,600 people), reaching 1,939,700 people in 2026. Population growth is projected for each LGD over the decade, ranging from 0.1 per cent (200 people) in Derry City and Strabane to 8.9 per cent in both Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon LGD and Lisburn and Castlereagh LGD (18,600 and 12,500 people respectively).
The projections between mid-2016 and mid-2026 also highlight that:
- Ageing of the population is set to continue, with the Northern Ireland population aged 65 and over projected to increase by 25.0 per cent (i.e. 74,500 people) over this period. Increases are projected in each LGD, ranging from 15.2 per cent in Belfast to over 30 per cent in Newry, Mourne and Down and Mid Ulster (31.4 per cent and 32.0 per cent respectively).
- Growth of over 40 per cent is projected among those aged 85 and over in five of the 11 LGDs, with Mid Ulster set to experience the highest percentage growth in this age category (1,200, equating to growth of 48.1 per cent).
- The number of children in Northern Ireland is projected to rise by a modest 0.1 per cent (600 children) up to 2026. The largest increase is projected in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon LGD (4.9 per cent, equating to 2,300 children). Six out of the 11 LGDs are projected to see a reduction in the number of children, with Causeway Coast and Glens experiencing the largest reduction at 4.6 per cent, equating to 1,300 children.
- In contrast, the number of pre-school children (i.e. those aged 0-3) in Northern Ireland is projected to fall by 7.8 per cent (i.e. 7,700 children) over the decade. Decreases are projected in all of the LGDs, with the largest decrease projected in Causeway Coast and Glens LGD (13.7 per cent, equating to 1,000 children).
- Modest growth of 0.2 per cent (i.e. 2,500 people) is projected among the working age population (i.e. those aged 16-64) of Northern Ireland over the decade to 2026. Six of the 11 LGDs will however experience a reduction in their working age population, most notably in Derry city and Strabane LGD (4.5 per cent, equivalent to 4,300 people) and Causeway Coast and Glens LGD (4.3 per cent, equivalent to 3,800 people).
- In 2016, Ards and North Down was the only LGD where the estimated population aged 65 and over exceeded the estimated number of children. At the Northern Ireland level, the proportion of the population aged 65 and over is projected to overtake that of children by 2028 (20.1 per cent and 19.6 per cent respectively). By this time, this will also be the case in six out of the 11 LGDs, with the remaining five falling into this category by 2035.
Further information including links to statistical tables, infographics, population pyramids and interactive maps is available at: 2016-based Population Projections for Areas Within Northern Ireland.
- 2021 Census Outputs Strategy Consultation for Northern Ireland 18 October 2018
- CSO Statistical Yearbook of Ireland, 2018 18 October 2018
- Labour Market Report October 2018 16 October 2018
- Construction Output Statistics: Q2-2018 11 October 2018