Catholics now outnumber Protestants within the Northern Ireland population for the first time since the partition of the island of Ireland.

Census figures published today show that show that 45.7 per cent of the population said they were either Catholic or brought up as a Catholic.

The figures for Protestants (and other Christian faiths) was 43.5%, while 1.5% were from other non-Christian religions.

Ths represents a drop from the 2011 Census, which recorded 48% of the population as being either Protestant or brought up Protestant, down five percentage points on 2001.

The Catholic population stood at 45% in the last census, up one percentage point on 2001.

The 2021 Census showed 9.3% of the population as belonging to no religion – this figure is up from 5.6% in 2011.

The census also included a question on people’s sense of national identity.

Census 2021 showed that 31.9% said they were “British-only” and 8% deemed themselves “British and Northern Irish”.

The proportion of the population that said they were “Irish only” was 29.1% while those identifying as “Northern Irish only” was 19.8%.

In Census 2011, 40% said they had a British-only national identity, 25% said they had an Irish-only identity and 21% viewed their identity as being only Northern Irish.