2016 Mid Year Population Estimates for Northern Ireland

Date published: 22 June 2017

The 2016 Mid-year Population Estimates for Northern Ireland were published on 22 June 2017. Population estimates detail the number of people resident at 30 June each year and are therefore often referred to as the mid year estimates. They are disaggregated by age and sex, and contain data on components of population change (i.e. births, deaths and migration).

The key findings are:

  • The Northern Ireland population at 30 June 2016 is estimated to be 1.862 million, an increase of 10,500 people (0.6 per cent) since mid‑2015. This is one of the findings of the statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).
  • The increase can mainly be attributed to natural growth of 9,000 people (i.e. 24,400 births minus 15,300 deaths) and net inward migration of 1,500 people (i.e. 23,800 moving here to live and 22,300 people leaving to live elsewhere). 
  • The level of emigration (i.e. people leaving NI to live elsewhere) and immigration (i.e. people coming here to live) increased in the year ending mid-2016, by 3.8 per cent and 1.0 per cent respectively.
  • The statistics also point to the continuing ageing of the population with the number of those aged 65 and over increasing by 2.0 per cent in the year ending mid-2016 to reach 297,800 people (16.0 per cent of the population).  Within this group, the population aged 85 and over increased by 2.8 per cent to reach 36,500 people (2.0 per cent of the population).  By way of contrast, the number of children aged 0 to 15 years increased by just 0.7 per cent to reach 388,000 children (20.8 per cent of the population).
  • Across Northern Ireland, each of the 11 Local Government Districts is estimated to have experienced population growth during the year in question, ranging from 0.2 per cent in Belfast to 1.2 per cent in Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon.
  • Over the same period, sixteen of the eighteen Parliamentary Constituencies experienced population increases, ranging from 0.2 per cent in Belfast North to 1.3 per cent in Upper Bann. Belfast West and East Antrim experienced very modest population decline (0.1 per cent and 0.05 per cent respectively).
  • Population growth in Northern Ireland in the year ending mid-2016 was lower than growth in the rest of the UK (0.6 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively).

Full report and statistics are available here.


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