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Family size and religious denomination in Northern Ireland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 July 2008

Paul A. Compton
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, Queen's University, Belfast
John Coward
Affiliation:
School of Biological and Environmental Studies, University of Ulster, Coleraine
Keith Wilson-Davis
Affiliation:
Glencolumbkille, Donegal

Summary

Some initial results from the recently conducted Northern Ireland Fertility Survey are examined with particular reference to the relationship between family size and religious denomination. While the overall average family size of Roman Catholics is still larger than that of non-Catholics, the extent of this differential is now narrowing as a result of the more rapid recent decline in the average size of Catholic families. In addition, there are variations in family size among the main Protestant denominations; a broad regional dimension to the Catholic-non-Catholic differential is also apparent. Although subsequent analyses will document these trends in greater detail, some of the main hypothesized explanatory variables are briefly discussed along with some of the socioeconomic and political implications of these recent trends.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1985

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References

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