Emigration and Education Statistics, 1931, Co. Antrim

Description from Thom’s Directory, 1931.

is a maritime county in the province of Ulster, it is bounded
on the north by the Atlantic ocean, on the east by the Northern
Channel, on the south by Belfast Lough, which it shares as far
as mid-water with County Down and on the west by Co. Derry (Londonderry).
The length of county Antrim from the “new bridge”
over the river Lagan near Lisburn to the Giant’s Causeway is
54.5 miles; and it’s breadth from Island Magee to Toome on the
river Bann is 30 miles.


The counties name is derived from the town of Antrim and probably
means “one tribe” or “one habitation”. The
northern part of the county was the ancient territory of Dalriada,
commonly called the Route; all south of that was part of the old
territory of Dalriada; this latter part was in later ages called
North Clannaboy, to distinguish it from South Clannaboy in Co.
Down, both of which formed the territory of the O’Neills. The
district along the coast from Larne to Ballycastle was the territory
of the MacDonnells and it is now known as “The Glens of Antrim”
which are named after the streams that run through them as follows:-
Glenshesk, Glendun, Glencorp, Glenaan,
Glenballyemon, Glenariff, Glencloy and Glenarm.


As regards minerals in the county, the sub-soil is basalt or trap,
which forms the Giant’s causesway on the north coast, clay-slate
and limestone; there was coal at Ballycastle, and salt mines near
Carrickfergus; and iron ore in the hill region extending from
Larne to Cushendall.
The ore was shipped from Larne, Glenarm, Carnlough and Red Bay
to the ports of Cumberland, Wales and Clyde. There are numerous
large bogs in the county.

chief mountain summits in the county with their height in feet
are: Slemish (1,437) near Ballymena; Trostan (1,811),
Slieveanee (1,782), Slieveanorra (1,676) and Slievenahaghan
(1,325), around Cushendall: Aganarrive (1,225) and
Crockaneel (1,321), west of Cushendun; Knocklayd
(1,695), a detached peak near Ballycastle; Collin Top (1,426),
Carncormick (1,431) and Soarns Hill (1,326) near
Glenarm; Divis (1,561), Black Mountain (1,272),
Squire’s Hill (1,230) and Cave Hill (1,188) near
Belfast; Carnhill (1,025) and Toppin (928) near

chief headlands coming from the north are Bengore Head
which includes the Giant’s Causeway, Kinbane or
, Benmore or Fair Head, Torr Head,
Garron Point, Ballygaley Head, The Gobbins,
Black Head and White Head which is near Carrickfergus.
The islands along the coast also from the north are Rathlin; the
Skerries near Portrush; Maidens near Larne; and Muck Island off
Island Magee.

Bays and Harbours are: Belfast Lough between Antrim and
Down; Larne Lough (an inlet 5 miles long and bounded on
the east by the peninsula of Island Magee); and the Bays of Ballygalley,
Glenarm, Carnlough, Red, Murlough, Ballycastle
and White Park.

were located at Maiden Rocks (opposite Larne Harbour);
Black Head; and Altacarry Head (north-east of Rathlin

principal rivers are the Bann, which for 27 miles forms
the boundary between Antrim and Derry; the Lagan for about
22 miles forms the southern boundary; the Six-Mile-Water
flowing into Lough Neagh near Antrim town. Larne Water
which flows into the sea at Larne; the Main river flowing
into Lough Neagh below Randalstown receives the waters of the
Glenwhirry and Kells rivers, also those of the river
Braid on which stands Ballymena. The Glenravel Water
and the Clogh river are also found in Antrim. The Bush
river enters the sea near the Giant’s Causeway. The river Carey
runs into the sea at Ballycastle, and the streams running through
the Glens of Antrim reach the sea at different points along the
east coast.

principal Lakes are Lough Neagh; Lough Beg is an
expansion of the river Bann, lying north of Lough Neagh; Lough
is near Ballymoney; Portmore Lake is close to
Lough Neagh and Lough Mourne is found to the north of Carrickfergus.

The Lagan canal connects Lough Neagh with Belfast Lough.


There were 42,477 families in the county according to the 1926
Census for Ireland, the average number in each family was 4.48.
The number of ‘inhabited houses’ was 41,896 with an average of
4.54 persons to each house. The Special Inmates of Public institutions
are omitted from these figures.

were in the county 25,680 ‘Occupiers’ or ‘Heads of Families’ who
were in occupation of less than five rooms, this was 61.6% of
the total for the county. Of these, 849 or 2% occupied one room;
6,549 or 15.7% occupied two rooms; 7,716 or 18.3% occupied three
rooms; and 10,666 or 25.6% were in ocupation of four rooms.

were 374 tenements in the county in which the room had only one
occupant at that time; 375 cases where the room had two, three
or four occupants; 81 cases in which there were five, six or seven
occupants to one room, and 19 cases where the occupants of one
room exceeded 7 in number, including three cases where ten persons
occupied the same room.


Year Males Females Total
1821 111,572 122,034 233,606
1831 131,727 140,601 272,328
1841 137,533 148,034 285,567
1851 124,778 135,125 259,903
1861 122,491 134,495 256,986
1871 117,003 128,755 245,758
1881 113,464 124,274 237,738
1891 102,689 112,540 215,229
1901 94,087 102,003 196,090
1911 93,651 100,213 193,864
1926 92,596 99,047 191,643


In 1911 there were in county Antrim, 157,812 people aged 9 and
upwards; of these 141,944 or 90% could read and write; 7,606 or
4.8% could read only and 8,262 or 5.2% were illiterate. As that
census was the first for which the age for consideration had been
raised from 5 years to 9 years, no comparison can be made with
figures from earlier censuses. But – the percentage of those of
five years and upwards who were unable to read and write in 1891
was 9%. By 1901 this figure was listed as 8% and in 1911 it had
fallen to 7.9%

SPEAKING (1861-1911)

of people
1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
11 14 27 0 0 0
& English
1,911 464 1,481 894 1,012 2,724
Irish Total 1,922 478 1,508 894 1,012 2,724
of population
0.7 0.2 0.6 0.4 0.5 1.4

A point to note: there are no errors in the above table, the majority
of counties in Ireland show a similar trend in numbers of Irish
speaking people between the years 1861 and 1891. The figures given
for emigration patterns show a greater number of people emigrating
in the years 1861 and 1881 and this may account for the figures
in this table.

RELIGIONS, 1871-1926(% of population)

Religion 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926
Presbyterian 52.0 51.3 42.1 50.77 50.14 49.5
of Ireland
20.9 21.72 22.5
Roman Catholic 20.59 20.5 20.1
Methodist 1.4 1.5 3.3 1.91 1.97 2.6
Others 3.8 4.7 4.7 5.83 5.87 5.3

The figures for Church of Ireland and Roman Catholics in the
county for the years 1871, 1881 and 1891 will be included as
soon as possible.

EMIGRATION (1861-1911)

1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
77,516 54,670 59,431 5,469 14,946 32,804

figures include emigrants from the City of Belfast which was
a major port of emigration for people from other counties