Census 2011 shows dramatic increase in Irish-born population in Liverpool but recording of ethnicity only marginally up…..


During late 2010 through to March 2011 several Irish community organisations across Merseyside, including Cairde na hEireann Liverpool, ran a ‘Tick The Irish Box’ (TTIB) campaign in order to increase Irish community participation in the 2011 census and to ensure that Irish ethnicity was properly represented in the census figures throughout the Merseyside region.

ttib

This week the Office for National Statistics published the results of the 2011 census relating to ethnicity, country of birth and national identity. The results showed mixed results as to the success of the TTIB campaign across Merseyside compared to the figures of the 2001 Census:

Ethnic Group: White Irish

Region/Local Authority

2001

2011

Percentage -/+

Merseyside Region

13,005

13,342

+2.5%

Liverpool

5,349

6,279

+20.5%

Knowsley

872

747

-16.7%

Sefton

2,665

2,312

-15.2%

St Helens

1,054

887

-18.8%

Wirral

3,065

2,667

-14.9%

Despite the TTIB campaign there was only a minimal increase of 2.5% for those who declared their ethnicity as being Irish for the Merseyside region as a whole. Four local authority areas saw a decrease in Irish ethnicity being declared, while Liverpool stood alone and saw a dramatic increase of just over 20.5% compared to the 2001 census. So was the TTIB campaign more successful within Liverpool compared to the other Merseyside Local Authorities? A look at the table below which shows ‘Country of Birth’ would suggest that the increase in Irish ethnicity being recorded had more to do with a new influx of immigrants from Ireland as opposed to any consciousness raising due to the TTIB campaign:

Country of birth (Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland combined)

Region/Local Authority

2001

2011

Percentage -/+

Merseyside Region

15,254

16,545

+7.8%

Liverpool

5,663

8,242

+31.2%

Knowsley

1,048

873

-20%

Sefton

3,288

2,888

-13.8%

St Helens

1,235

1,093

-12.9%

Wirral

4,020

3,449

-16.5%

Clearly, Liverpool has seen a massive jump in the numbers of Irish-born settling in the city with a 31.2% increase since the 2001 census, while Irish-born amongst the 4 other local authority areas has seen drops of between 12-20%. This is likely to account for the 20.5% increase in Irish ethnicity recorded in Liverpool. The Merseyside region as a whole has seen an increase in Irish-born of 7.8% which is remarkable considering the 2011 census found that numbers of Irish-born residents living in England and Wales has dropped by 24.5% since 2001.

While it is debateable if the TTIB campaign had any impact in increasing the recording of Irish ethnicity, it is clear from those organisations involved in the campaign that it significantly raised the profile of the Irish community in the local media and amongst local politicians. The last 4-5 years has a seen a huge increase in Irish community activity on Merseyside which has included the setting of up of two Gaelic Football Teams and the continuation of Irish culture through St Michaels Irish Centre,  Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, several Irish dancing schools, Liverpool Irish Patriots Flute Band, Liverpool Irish Festival and Conradh na Gaeilge, which continues to hold Irish language classes across Liverpool. In short, Irish presence on Merseyside remains strong and has increased. This is not only evidenced by the increased Irish-born population across Merseyside, particularly Liverpool, but also in the cultural and sporting life of the Irish community which continues to prosper and grow…..

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One thought on “Census 2011 shows dramatic increase in Irish-born population in Liverpool but recording of ethnicity only marginally up…..

  1. Pingback: John Mitchels lost but gaelic games in Liverpool is a winner again. | My Liverpool – My Dublin

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