Traveller Health and Wellbeing

The official estimate of the size of the Traveller population in Northern Ireland varies over time.  The Northern Ireland Housing Executive estimates the size of the population at 1,262 individuals in 384 households (NIHE, 2014).  The Northern Ireland Social Research Agency estimated the population as 1,770 in 2002 (NISRA, 2002) and 1300 in 2011 (NISRA, 2011).

The All Ireland Traveller Health Study (University College Dublin, 2010) clearly shows that the health status of Travellers is much poorer than that of the general population within Northern Ireland.

There are huge disparities in life expectancy and other health and wellbeing outcomes for Travellers compared to settled people:

  • Deaths from external causes (e.g. accidents, poisonings, suicides etc.) in males is 5.5 times higher than in the general population.  Male Travellers have a suicide rate which is 6.6 times that of men in the general population.
  • Overall, mortality among Travellers is 3.5 times higher than in the general population for both genders.  For males it is 3.7 times higher and for females it is 3.1 times higher.  This is across all ages for Travellers.
  • Infant mortality is higher than in the general population with 14.1 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to 3.9 deaths per 1,000 live births for non-Travellers.
  • 63% of Travellers are under 25 years compared with 35% of non-Travellers.
  • Only 2% are over 65 years compared with 11% in the non-Traveller population.
  • Male Travellers live on average to 61.7 years compared to non-Travellers who live to 76.8 years.  The picture for female Travellers is a little better where life expectancy for female Travellers is 70.1 years compared to non-Travellers which is 81.6 years.

For more information on Traveller health and wellbeing click here.

Traveller Health and Wellbeing Programme

The Traveller Health and Wellbeing Programme is funded by the Public Health Agency and the Western Local Commissioning Group and co-ordinated by the Western Trust Health Improvement Department.  A Traveller Development Officer and Traveller Health Support Worker are employed to work with the Traveller community to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of all Travellers in the Western Trust area. 

The Health Improvement Department provide a range of free information leaflets and training opportunities.

To view our catalogue of resources click here.

To view our Training Brochure for activites click here.