[Sinn Fein]

20th March 2003

Concern at Community Differentials highlighted by publication of Census 2001 details

Sinn Fein Equality Spokesperson, Upper Bann MLA Dr Dara O'Hagan has expressed concern at serious community differentials that exist between the two communities that are highlighted in the publication of Census 2001 details today.

Dr O'Hagan said:

``The census results showing that Catholics remain almost twice as likely to be unemployed than Protestants demonstrated the need for the equality agenda to be pursued with far more rigour than is currently the case.

``It is a disgrace that at the start of the twenty first century, 11 per cent of Catholic men are unemployed, while the figure for Protestant men is 6 per cent.

Dr O'Hagan also expressed concern at the scandalous census figures on overcrowding. She added:

``The recently released census figures on housing occupancy show that almost twice as many Catholics live in overcrowded conditions as Protestants. While 65 per cent of people living in overcrowded households are Catholics, 33 per cent are Protestants. While neither figure is acceptable, inequality in housing provision has dogged the six county state since its inception, and it appears that current housing policy remains incapable of dealing with the issue adequately.

``What is worse, it would appear that the Statistics and Research Agency were trying to hide these shocking figures. No mention of this enormous disparity was mentioned in their summary press release.'' ENDS

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