The Northern Ireland strand of the PSE: UK research project is run by Queen’s University, Belfast, working with the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). The 2012 survey allows trends in Northern Ireland since the PSE Northern Ireland survey in 2002/3 to be tracked, as well comparisons with the rest of the UK. The findings are bleak. Overall, levels of deprivation and financial hardship, are more extensive in Northern Ireland than in the UK as a whole and have increased since the last PSE survey in Northern Ireland in 2002/3. A summary of these findings can be found in Northern Ireland: faring badly.
In addition to being part of the UK research, the specific aims of the Northern Ireland research are to investigate:
- the extent to which poverty and social exclusion vary across the nine dimensions of equality specified in Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998
- to compare poverty levels between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
- to assess the impact of the legacies of the conflict on poverty and social exclusion.
For Northern Ireland, the Living Standards in the UK survey includes a module on the Troubles asking questions on respondents’ experiences during that time. The research finds that the conflict has had a deep and lasting impact on people's lives. A summary of these findings can be found in Legacies of the Troubles.
The Northern Ireland research also has an emphasis on ascertaining the role of family, institutionally and culturally, in coping with poverty and social exclusion. A qualitative study with 51 families investinging the role and significance of family for those on low incomes was carried out in 2011/12. 'Families and Poverty: Everyday life on a low income' by Professor Mary Daly and Dr Grace Kelly (The Policy Press, £24.99) explores this work.
In addition, the PSE: Northern Ireland team, with The Open University PSE team, worked with the Community Foundation in Northern Ireland to support local communities in gathering data on services and deprivation in their area. Full details of this project can be found in the Northern Ireland section of Communities.
The results of the 2011 Necessities of Life survey were presented to the Northern Ireland Assembly by Mike Tomlinson and Grace Kelly and the accompanying paper and presentation on 'Defining a Breadline' can be found under Papers in the left hand menu along with the PSE research analysis paper on Necessites of Life in Northern Ireland' by Mike Tomlinson, Grace Kelly et al. There you will also find further papers on the legacies of the troubles. Details of further presentations and bulletins from the Northern Ireland team can also be found in the left hand menu.
The results of the Necessities of Life survey (carried out in Northern Ireland in 2011) can be interogated by different social groupings in Explore the Data.