Migrants make up only 3.5pc of Mid and East Antrim population

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A statistical picture of migrant and ethnic minority demographics of Mid East Antrim has been revealed for the first time.

Details were contained in a presentation to a recent Mid and East Antrim Council committee meeting by the Northern Ireland Strategic Migration Partnership (NISMP).

It was suggested by the NISMP’s Board that new “super authorities” be offered a presentation on their specific community profile produced in conjunction with the NI Local Government Association, on the Partnership’s work, and the support it can offer.

Local government reform has coincided with a significant demographic change in Northern Ireland brought about by almost 10 years of inward migration.

In the 2011 census 4.5 per cent of the population were born outside the UK or Ireland, representing a three per cent rise in resident migrants in just a decade.

It revealed that of the 135,338 people resident in the new Mid & East Antrim Council area, 4,776 were born outside the UK and Ireland, representing 3.5 per cent of the population which, is below the NI average of 4.5 per cent.

Of those, 2,816 have a main language other than English or Irish, with the majority (1,105) Polish speakers followed by 78 (Lithuanian), 35 (Gaelic/Irish), 70 (Portuguese), 365 (Slovak), 101 (Chinese), 59 (Tagalog/Filipino), 46 (Latvian), 32 (Russian), 52 Malayalam), 12 (Hungarian) and 896 (other).

Of those whose main language is not English or Irish, 31 per cent cannot speak English or cannot speak it well, according to the statistics.