Dungannon one of the ‘most god-fearing’ districts in the North with Catholics leading the way

DUNGANNON is bucking the trend of the UK 2011 Census figures with the local borough showing one of the lowest proportions of respondents reporting no religion and an increase in those professing to be Catholic.

Across the UK, the latest census report has shown a loosening in the influence of Christianity, with a sharp decrease in the number of people identifying themselves as Christian and a dramatic increase in those reporting no religion.

However, almost six out of ten people living in the Dungannon borough now identify themselves as Catholic, while the combined figures for the other Christian faiths is three out of ten.

Only 2.3% of Dungannon respondents said they had no religion, compared to the UK average of 25.1%.

Across Northern Ireland, Omagh had the lowest proportion of people describing themselves as having no religion at 1.8%.

The number of professed Catholics in Dungannon District has increased slightly since the last census in 2001, while the number of Protestants has decreased steeply by 16%.

Catholicism is the most populous faith in the borough at 58.9 percent, with those professing to belong to the Church of Ireland next at 14.1% of the borough population, followed by the Presbyterian Church at 9.9%.

The number of people stating they had been brought up as Catholic was slightly higher at 64.1% of the district population.

In Northern Ireland as a whole, the number of people describing themselves as Protestant fell from 53% to 48% while the Catholic population went up 1% to 45%.

Although the gap between the number of Catholics and Protestants in the borough has widened dramatically in the last ten years, the difference has not been replicated in terms of national identity.

The 2011 census was the first time a question on national identity was asked.

Of those questioned in the Dungannon District, 26.51% said they were British only. A total of 35.68& of the local population defined themselves as Irish only, while 22% said they were Northern Irish only.