Skip to main content
Published - September 2023

Belfast Agenda

Belfast in numbers

Our people and communities

  • Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland with a population of 345,418. Over 1.12 million people in the wider Belfast region.
  • Our economy supports 46,000 additional jobs.
  • There will be a 33 per cent reduction in the life expectancy gap between the most and least deprived neighbourhoods.
  • Every young person leaving school has a destination that fulfils their potential.
  • Our carbon emissions will be reduced by 80 per cent.


Our economy

  • ICT businesses have grown by more than a third in the last three years.
  • 24,7100 jobs in the city.
  • 71 per cent of school leavers achieved 5 GCSEs A*- C including English and Maths
  • 58 per cent of school leavers achieved 2+ A-Levels A*-E.
  • Fastest growing creative industries sector in the UK, with over 1,600 companies employing 20,000 people.
  • 30 per cent of the region's GDP is generated in Belfast.
  • £55,289 GVA per job filled. This represents a 33 per cent increase over 10 years (the UK average is 23 per cent).
  • £1 billion of investment to be delivered across the Belfast City Region over 10 years.


Our place

  • 82 miles of bike routes including 24 miles traffic free routes and 12 miles of shared use pathways.
  • 58 per cent travel to work by car or van,14 per cent by public transport and 2 per cent by bike.
  • Over 70,000 students in further and higher education, training and apprentice schemes.
  • 47.2 per cent of people travel to work by car or van, 8.9 per centre by public transport and 2 per centre by bike.
  • 44 per cent of all journeys are made by sustainable transport.
  • The Local Development Plan growth strategy has identified a need for 31,600 additional homes including 8,000 units in the city centre by 2035.
  • 72 per cent hotel occupancy. This is back to pre-pandemic levels when tourism was worth 417 million.
  • £100 million investment in city centre in 2022 to 2023.


Our planet

  • 33,000 properties are at risk from surface water flooding.
  • The predicted economic cost of flooding is £16 million per annum.
  • 39 per cent of greenhouse gases are emitted from houses. This is set to increase to 50 per cent by 2050.
  • There are 800,000 trees in the city, with plans to plant one million trees by 2035.
  • Over 211 tonnes of pollutants from the atmosphere and 8,893 tonnes of carbon are removed by trees each year.
  • £1.5 billion of investment is required to retrofit 100,000 homes in the city.


Compassionate city

  • Six of the 10 most deprived electoral wards in Northern Ireland.
  • 15 per cent are 65 years+. This is set to grow to nearly 20 per cent by 2035.
  • 22 per cent of children are growing up in low-income households.
  • 42 per cent of the population is 30 years or younger.
  • £805 gap in average weekly earnings between highest 10 per cent and lowest 10 per cent of earners.
  • 97 physical barriers or peace walls remain.
  • 7.1 per cent of the population is non-white.
Read aloud icon Read aloud