Northern Irish Population Trends - key stats from NISRA

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) recently released a report on key statistics in Northern Ireland. The report provides information on a number of areas: from the labour market, to Brexit, to travel and transport.

The report doesn’t have any specific data on the arts, culture, and heritage sector but provides some interesting information on overall potential audiences for the sector here.

You can download the full report, but here are some of the most interesting findings and how they can be used to grow cultural audiences:

The population of NI will continue to grow... but at a slower rate than before.

The general context here is that with population growth comes opportunities to grow your audience. However, you might not experience the same speed of growth as you did before.

In the next ten years there will be more over 65s than children.

This is a global mega-trend and isn’t just specific to Northern Ireland. With an ageing population, it is important to consider older people as a potential audience. If older people are an audience you're interested in targeting you can check out our Audience Snapshot which presents the hard facts and figures on older people in NI.

80,000 older people live alone.

Social isolation is an issue facing people of all ages, but especially the older generation due to a number of factors. It is also proven that arts engagement has various positive effects on the older isolated generation. This report from Arts Council NI highlights some great cases studies of organisations that have targeted this group and experienced positive effects as a result.

One in three households in NI has a dependent child.

This means that there is great potential to target family audiences, but also just young people generally. (We've got a snapshot on younger people too!) 

21% of the population have a disability or a limiting long-term illness.

One in nine people provide care to someone with a health problem, disability or problems due to old age.

Disability and long-term illness can be a barrier for audiences engaging with the arts. Consider how accessible your organisation is to all type of disabilities and also offering free tickets to carers.

35% of the population live in a rural area.

Potential audiences aren’t just located in towns and cities. For the rural population transport is key. Ensure that your website has clear transport information, also think about when you performances end to ensure people have enough time to catch the last train/bus home.

Three out of five households own a tablet and three out of four adults own a smartphone.

The way we use the internet has changed and people are more likely now to browse the internet on tablets and smart phones, so making sure your website and online booking system are compatible with these is important. You can also use google analytics to see how your audience views your web content. 

15% of the population have never used the internet.

39% of over 70s have used the internet (in the last three months).

We're becoming a more online society, so digital marketing is relevant for all age groups. But bear in mind that there are still people who don’t use the internet. If you are reaching out to an older audience it is important to market effectively both on and off line.

This report from NISRA gives the overall picture on who is living in Northern Ireland, and covers population growth, travel and transport, technology use and more.

Read the Full Report

Related Report

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