Ulster Scots 2011 census figures

The findings from the 2011/12 Continuous Household Survey (the NI census) for Ulster Scots have been released and make for quite bleak reading. Figures show that:

  • Just over one in every seven (15%) of the population has some knowledge of Ulster-Scots.
  • Approximately one in seven (14%) can understand spoken Ulster-Scots, while fewer people can speak, read or write Ulster-Scots (4%, 4% and 1% respectively).
  • A tenth (10%) of the population are interested in learning more about Ulster-Scots.
  • There is a higher proportion of Protestants than Catholics who have knowledge of Ulster-Scots (21% and 8% respectively).
  • People living in the least deprived areas are more likely to have knowledge of Ulster-Scots than those living in the most deprived areas (15% and 10% respectively).
  • A higher proportion of people living in rural areas have knowledge of Ulster-Scots than those living inurban areas (20% and 12% respectively).
Ulster Scots 2011
From Blether region blog

The blog The Blether Region gives a quick analysis: “As readers will be aware, the headline census figure for “some ability in Ulster-Scots” for Northern Ireland was just under 8.1%. Nine of the 26 local government districts in the territory reported above-average percentages on this question and therefore have some claim to be Scots-speaking areas.They are as follows: Ballymoney 29.43; Ballymena 22.15; Moyle 21.71; Larne 19.20; Coleraine 15.93; Ards 13.27; Antrim 09.57; Carrickfergus 09.39 and Newtownabbey 09.13″. In an earler post the blog he explains why these results shouldn’t be so surprising.

And as I commented on Facebook, we might expect much the same when the Scottish figures come out.

“Ye ken fowks A fear we maun readie oorsels for sic law nummers in Scotland an aw fae the census whan it is furthset. Gien thae disjaskit Ulster feegurs A’d forsee us gettin aboot *hauf* o whit wis estimatit by the 1996 survey i.e aboot 15% o Scottish fowk awnin they speak onie Scots, wi ainlie Aiberdeen, Tayside, Fife, and the Borders abuin-average ‘hertlands’. A howp A’m up the wrang dreel, but A fear no.”

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