Situated within south/west Tyrone, the Clogher Valley intersects two Local Government Districts; (i) Fermanagh and Omagh, and (ii) Mid-Ulster. These are two of the largest districts in terms of land mass, and smallest in terms of population. Geographically, the Clogher Valley is comprised of small contained settlements which are widely dispersed amongst an open countryside which alongside agricultural practices (largely pastoral) has become a popular setting for residential development. Consequently, population density is low (43 persons/km2). The nearest urban centres, upon which many rely on for education and employment, are Omagh and Dungannon, both situated within a 20-30-minute journey by car. Although agriculture is a declining industry in Northern Ireland, it remains important within the Clogher Valley where cattle and sheep farming are prevalent. However, this is increasingly becoming seen as a part-time occupation or simply a ‘hobby’, and 80% of farms are classified as ‘very small’.
Whilst the population is broadly in line with Northern Ireland's population age structure, it has a slightly higher proportion of those under 16 years of age accounting for 23% according to 2019 figures, compared to 21% of the NI population (NISRA, 2019). Despite this, the population in Clogher Valley has also been described as ageing (the population aged over 65 in the Clogher Valley has grown from 14% in 2001 to 16% in 2019).
Find out more about the Study Area here: South Tyrone Study Area Background.