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How is our work influencing life in Northern Ireland and delivering equality? Learn more about our policy, legal and research work.

Measuring Equality in Northern Ireland

What you need to know



Measuring Equality in Northern Ireland

‘Measuring Equality in Northern Ireland’ is our ongoing monitoring framework to help us build a picture of equality in Northern Ireland.

We analyse various data sources and insights to help us track existing inequalities and identify emerging inequalities.

This information provides a baseline for planning future work and identify areas we can try to change laws, policies and practice in Northern Ireland.

Tracking equality across areas of life

Using the Measuring Equality in Northern Ireland framework (pdf), we continue to analyse available data across six broad areas of life in Northern Ireland. These are:

1.    Participation in public life
2.    Education
3.    Employment
4.    Health and Social Care 
5.    Standards of living and housing

6.    Communities that are welcoming and inclusive

A need for comprehensive equality data

It is clear from this work that there is a lack of data in Northern Ireland across all areas of life. There is a particular lack of data on gender identity, sexual orientation and race. Without equality data, it becomes difficult to assess inequalities.

We urge Government and Public Authorities to collect and share comprehensive equality data.



As part of the process of developing the monitoring framework for Measuring Equality in Northern Ireland, we undertook a consultation process during a twelve-week period. We engaged with individuals and stakeholder organisations that are producers and/or users of equality data. We asked about their specific views on the outcome areas, the key priority areas, the population indicator(s), and sources of evidence proposed, to assist us in developing this framework.

The contributions and recommendations gathered from our stakeholders, data users and producers who took part in the consultation are recorded in the consultation report (pdf) and data sources (pdf)

The consultation exercise closed in early April 2022. The consultation documents are available below:

The Commission is working to improve the equality data available, and produced by a range of organisations, across equality grounds.  This will help promote equality and tackle inequality in Northern Ireland.  

The Commission’s framework Measuring Equality in Northern Ireland and its further development and use in producing statements on Equality in Northern Ireland will also be used to seek improvements by others in their data development and address data gaps.

The Commission has long identified the need for robust equality data in Northern Ireland, across key areas and for various equality grounds; for example, through its previous work on key inequalities.  In 2020, the Commission developed a briefing note on the need for equality data (pdf)

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