Catholics make up the biggest religious group in Northern Ireland for the first time since the state was formed a little over a century ago, a trend that will likely add fire to a debate over the region’s future in the United Kingdom.

A 2021 census released Thursday showed 42% of respondents identified as Catholic and 37% as Protestant or other Christian religions. In 2011, the last time a census was held, 48% identified as Protestant and 45% as Catholic.

Copyright 2022 Tribune Content Agency.