Northern Ireland: Experience of Troubles by groups, 2012

This scatter plot allows you to compare the experiences of the Troubles by ‘community background’, i.e. by the ‘Protestant’ or ‘Catholic’ community in which people were brought up, or with which they identify.

On a scatter plot, the x axis of the graph relates to one group and the y axis to the other. On the graph, each point the percentage with this experience and its position on the graph is determined by the percentage of each of the groups being compared who have had these experiences. Points above the straight line running at an angle of 45° indicatate that the group on the y axis (in this case Protestants) are more likley to have had this experience and points below this line indicate that the group on the x axis (in this case Catholics) are more likely to have had this experience.


Compare by:


There are 17 data points on the chart (a close friend injured and a close relative killed are both at the same point, 11% Protestants and 9% Catholics). Four of these, Protestants are slightly more likely than Catholics to have experienced the following events: a close friend killed, a close relative killed, a close friend injured, and to have witnessed a bomb explosion, but these differences are not statistically significant. In fact, for ten of the 17 experiences there are no statistically significant differences between Catholics and Protestants. The most striking and statistically significant differences are that Catholics were 4.4 times as likely to have experienced a house search by the police and/or army, 1.5 times as likely to know someone imprisoned because of the conflict, 1.4 times as likely to have had a close relative injured and 1.3 times as likely to have witnessed gunfire and an assault. [Catholics are 2.3 times as likely to have been injured themselves but this result cannot be regarded as statistically valid because of small cell sizes.]

Survey details

The Northern Ireland PSE living standards survey gathered evidence from a representative sample of 988 households with 2,311 individuals – 624 children (under 18 years old) and 1,687 adults. Of the adults, 80% agreed to answer the ten Troubles questions.


NB: You need to be Logged in as a registered user of this site to post comments.

The Catholics population was obviously terrorised by the State at that time, no doubt because of IRA bombings etc, but what about the poverty levels pre and post 1988 – has peace brought a better standard of living for either/both communities? Could you direct me to these figures please?

You will find these figures here: Sasha (Moderator)