I have spent a couple of hours number crunching the newly released Census data and already a few things are becoming apparent.

Below is a chart detailing a direct comparison with the previous Census based solely on age at 5 year gaps. It is apparent that people are living much longer, great news! It is highly unlikely that the population increases above the age of 40 can be explained by inward migration alone.

Rather than go into huge detail at each point of comparison, I believe the figures may well explain one fact which has puzzled me quite a bit over the last few years.

Why has the Nationalist vote remained at around the 44% mark if they are rising as a proportion of the population?

Assuming that:

  • 55% of Children of schoolgoing age are Catholic (DOENI) 2011/2012
  • In 2001 at all ages below 27, Catholics were in a Majority (37 today)
  • Therefore it is likely that at all ages below 37 Catholics are in a majority or at least on parity with non Catholics. (Hat tip to Enda)
  • Catholics are statistically much more likely to vote for a Nationalist party.

It is obvious to me that the reason for the stabilisation of the voting ratios is therefore that above the age of 40, where Non Nationalists are likely to still retain a slim majority, the life expectancy rates have increased substantially. This is also the cohort that is statistically much more likely to vote.

Of course, improved life expectancy applies to everyone, regardless of who they vote for. I would therefore expect the Nationalist vote to resume its upward trend in the next round of elections, hence the wonderful “Outreach” policies being talked about by, eh, the likes of Nelson McCauselands party.

2011 Actual 2001 Actual Difference
Aged 0-4 124,400.00 115,238.00 9,162.00
Aged 5-9 111,300.00 123,050.00 -11,750.00
Aged 10-14 119,000.00 132,664.00 -13,664.00
Aged 15-19 126,200.00 129,201.00 -3,001.00
Aged 20-24 126,000.00 109,385.00 16,615.00
Aged 25-29 124,100.00 114,704.00 9,396.00
Aged 30-34 119,800.00 127,517.00 -7,717.00
Aged 35-39 122,300.00 129,639.00 -7,339.00
Aged 40-44 131,800.00 117,335.00 14,465.00
Aged 45-49 131,600.00 102,464.00 29,136.00
Aged 50-54 116,900.00 98,426.00 18,474.00
Aged 55-59 99,300.00 88,732.00 10,568.00
Aged 60-64 94,300.00 73,587.00 20,713.00
Aged 65-69 82,100.00 65,341.00 16,759.00
Aged 70-74 63,500.00 57,852.00 5,648.00
Aged 75-79 50,400.00 46,542.00 3,858.00
Aged 80-84 36,400.00 30,289.00 6,111.00
Aged 85-89 21,200.00 16,116.00 5,084.00
Aged 90 and over 10,200.00 7,185.00 3,015.00
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