Community profile

Understanding the population whose health may be affected by a policy, programme or project is an important element of Health Impact Assessment (HIA). It will help to assess the scale of potential health impacts and also identify groups that may experience health inequalities.

This involves collecting data on population groups on criteria that are relevant to health and can include:

  • characteristics of the local population such as size, density, distribution, age and sex, birth rate, ethnicity, socio-economic status, employment and education levels
  • health status of the population, partiulalry the at-risk groups including mortality, morbidity and disability
  • health behaviour indicators such as diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol intake
  • local environmental conditions such as transport infrastructure, housing makeup and air quality
  • levels of employment or unemployment
  • geographical location.

For further information, Belfast Healthy Cities has produced guidance on how to build a community profile.

Population data is available from a range of sources in Ireland.

Census data is collected by the following agencies:

The Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service (NINIS) provides free access to statistical and neighbourhood information for small areas across Northern Ireland.

A Health Atlas for Ireland is currently being developed.

Ireland and Northern Ireland's Population Health Observatory (INIsPHO) hosts a range of data relating to population statistics and surveys which have been conducted across Ireland including the interactive all island health map.

Other sources of information relevant to population profiling include:

Other sources of information include:

  • Local Government offices
  • Other Government departments
  • Local community and voluntary group surveys