Belfast Telegraph

New high of 1.862m people now resident in Northern Ireland

By Claire McNeilly

Northern Ireland's population has reached a record high with the number of people living here increasing by 10,500 in just one year.

Figures published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) show a 0.6% hike that brings the total number of people here to 1.862 million.

Women, who comprise 50.9% of inhabitants, outnumber men by 31,700, with the biggest swathe of the population - 713,800 or 38.3% - aged between 34 and 64.

Official data for the period between June 2015 and June 2016 show there were 24,400 births and 15,300 deaths.

The level of emigration - people leaving to live elsewhere - remained slightly lower than immigration (people moving here to live), but emigration experienced more growth.

A total of 23,800 people moved here, up by just 1% on the previous year. And 22,300 people left to live elsewhere - a rise of 3.8%.

The figures also show that the population continues to age, with the number of people 65 and over rising by 2% to account for 16% of the population, or 297,800 people.

Within that group, the number of people aged 85 and over increased by 2.8% to account for 2% of the population, or 36,500 people.

By contrast, the number of children aged 15 and under increased by just 0.7% to account for 20.8% of the population, or 388,000 children.

Across Northern Ireland, each of the 11 local government districts is estimated to have experienced population growth, ranging from 0.2% in Belfast to 1.2% in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon.

Over the same period, 16 of the 18 Parliamentary constituencies experienced population increases, ranging from 0.2% in North Belfast to 1.3% in Upper Bann.

West Belfast and East Antrim experienced very modest population decline of 0.1% and 0.05% respectively.

There are now 946,900 women and 915,200 men in Northern Ireland.

Population growth in Northern Ireland in the year ending mid-2016 was lower than growth in the rest of the UK (at 0.6% and 0.8% respectively).

England saw the biggest percentage jump of 0.9% to reach a total of 55,268,100, while Scotland's population increased by 0.6% to 5,404,700 and Wales saw a 0.5% increase to 3,113,200.

The overall UK population has risen by 0.8% to 65,648,000 - the sharpest annual increase in nearly 70 years, according to the Office for National Statistics.

A recent UN study predicted that populations in Europe will decline without large-scale immigration, as fertility rates languish below replacement level.

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