51% of Northern Ireland pupils are Catholic
For the purposes of this article, it would be interesting to know what the researchers regard as 'Protestant'. Does this mean 'Anglican/Church of Ireland?' Does it mean the major Christian denominations other than the Catholic Church? When I was growing up as a Catholic, 'Protestant' was generally accepted as being any Christian denomination other than Catholic, although I appreciate that this is not technically correct. Unless the terms are clearly defined, the statistics are totally meaningless.
'Statistics also show that just 17% of pupils from controlled secondary schools achieve at least two A-levels, which are mandatory for entrance to university, compared to 33% of pupils from Catholic. That is a ratio of 1:2.' I love the last sentence. Presumably added for the benefit of those who didn't get any A-levels.
Big Chief Ally
I suppose the natural reaction to this is to believe there are more young Catholics than there are Protestants. Is this the case? Maybe not. If more Catholics are going to voluntary education this would skew things a little. Bruce_Grimshaw
Having lived outside Northern Ireland, I think the problem with the population is the engrained belief they should be labelled Protestant or Catholic from birth - even if they don't practice, or believe in, their religion. This problem was brought up in the latest census with 'What is your religion?' - a question which assumes that you have one, so the figures are misleading as people tend to tick the one they were brought up with.
Easy_Lionel: I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. Potentially on the census they should ask a question about the tradition you associate with most, going on to ask about recent attendance at a place of worship. That would certainly give some of the politicos at Stormont a kick up the backside, given that the younger population feel that there's more to worry about these days.
Ulaidh Go Bragh