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  • Michelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Census reveals levels of illness and disability in Co Antrim


The number of people with a limiting long-term health problem or disability has increased by almost one third during a 10-year period in Antrim and Newtownabbey, the highest rise in Northern Ireland, according to the 2021 Census.


Of the 145,661 residents in the borough, 10.89% have activities limited “a lot” due to ill health, 13.02%, “a little” and 76.09%, are not limited.

In the 65 plus age group, 26.57% report that activities are limited “a lot”.


The Census also shows that 1,772 people in the 65 years plus age group who live in Antrim and Newtownabbey have caring responsibilities more than 50 hours per week.


It has also found there are 32 children, aged between five and 14 years, providing care more than 50 hours each week in Antrim and Newtownabbey. There are 13 children providing this level of care in Mid and East Antrim.


In Mid and East Antrim, of the 138,994 population, 11.3% report their activities are affected by a limiting long-term health problem or disability “a lot” and 13.75%, “a little” although 74.94% are not affected in this way.



In the 65 years plus age group, 24.77% report having activities affected “a lot”.

The Census shows that 1,646 people in Mid and East Antrim over 65-years-old provide unpaid care for more than 50 hours weekly.


The Census has recorded 8,711 people in Antrim and Newtownabbey suffering from deafness or partial hearing loss. Of these, 137 are aged 0-14 years; 511, 15-39 years, 2,472, aged 40-64 years and 5,991, aged 65 years plus.


In Mid and East Antrim, there are 9,095 people who are experiencing deafness or hearing loss. Of these, there are 150, aged 0-14 years; 465, 15-39 years; 2,481, 40-64 years and 5,995, 65 years plus.



In Antrim and Newtownabbey, there are 114 children and teenagers aged 0-14 years who have blindness or sight loss; 231, aged 15 to 39 years; 629, aged 40 to 64 years and 1,460, aged 65 years upwards.


In Mid and East Antrim, there are 91 children and teenagers aged 0-14 years suffering from blindness or sight loss; 222 aged 15 to 39; 576, aged 40 to 64 and 1,712, aged 65 years plus.


The census shows 2,199 Antrim and Newtownabbey residents have a mobility difficulty requiring the use of a wheelchair with 99 aged 0-14; 207, 15 to 39; 578, 40-64 and 1,115, aged 65 years plus.



Figures for Mid and East Antrim showed 1,309 residents require the use of a wheelchair, of whom 79 were aged 0-14 years; 141, aged 15 to 39; 535, 40 to 64 years and 1,309, aged 65 years and older.


The Census also found that 3,411 people in Antrim and Newtownabbey have autism/Asperger’s with 1,971 children and teenagers having the condition; 1,250 in the 15 to 39-year-old age group; 169, 40 to 64-year-olds and 21 over the age of 65.


In Mid and East Antrim, there are 2,903 people with the condition, 1,606 aged under 16 years; 1,104, aged 15 to 39; 164, aged 40 to 64 and 29 aged 65 years and older.



There were reportedly 14,591 residents in Antrim and Newtownabbey suffering from shortness of breath or breathing difficulty.


There are 1,220 aged 0-14 years; 3,212, aged 15 to 39; 5,492, 40 to 64 years and 4,667 aged 65 years plus.


In Mid and East Antrim, there were 14,281 affected; 1,065 aged under 15 years; 2,893, 15 to 39; 5,507, 40 to 64 years and 4,816, over 65 years of age.

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