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Census

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This chapter contains a representative selection of tables on the population of the State. The figures are taken from Censuses of Population carried out since 1841. The tables selected give an insight into the historical evolution of the population, the factors affecting population change, the distribution of the population by geographic area and by the main demographic characteristics, i.e. age, sex and marital status. The importance of migration in Irish population dynamics is underscored by the selection of tables dealing with usually resident population by place of birth and nationality. Detailed figures for intercensal years are taken from the annual series of population and migration estimates. 

The first major census, using a household form, was the so-called Great Census of 1841. Censuses were subsequently taken at ten-year intervals up to 1911. The first census following the formation of the State was undertaken in 1926. This was followed by censuses in 1936 and 1946. Commencing with 1951, censuses have been taken every five years. The census planned for 1976 was cancelled at a late stage as a Government economy measure. However, the need for up-to-date population figures resulted in a census being specially undertaken in 1979 with a restricted number of questions. This was followed by a full census in 1981 and a resumption of the five-year interval for census taking. This five-year periodicity was broken in 2001 when the census planned for that year was postponed until April 2002 due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. The most recent census was taken on the 24th of April 2016.

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LeinsterMunsterConnachtUlster (part of)
1841197373123961611418859740048
1851167273818577361010031571052
186114576351513558913135517783
187113394511393485846213474038
188112789891331115821657438259
189111877601172402724774383758
190111528291076188646932345874
191111620441035495610984331165
19261149092969902552907300091
19361220411942272525468280269
19461281117917306492797263887
19511336576898870471895253252
19561338942877238446221235863
19611332149849203419465217524
19661414415859334401950208303
19711498140882002390902207204
19791743861979819418500226037
19811790521998315424410230159
198618526491020577431409236008
199118609491009533423031232206
199619247021033903433231234251
200221055791100614464296246714
200622951231173340504121267264
201125048141246088542547294803
201626307201280394550742296120
Show Table: 2.1 Population by province

Interactive table: StatBank link

The population of the area comprising the Republic of Ireland was over 6.5 million as measured by the 1841 Census of Population. The deaths which resulted from the famine of 1845/49 and the large scale emigration which followed in its wake and which continued throughout the second half of the 19th century culminated in a halving of the population by 1901.  Further population declines followed between 1901 and 1926, albeit at a lower level than previously.

The population stabilised at around 2.9 million for over a quarter of a century before reaching its low point of 2.8 million as determined by the 1961 Census.  Apart from the decline experienced in the late 1980's the direction of population change has since been positive.

With 36.7%, Munster had the largest population share in 1841, followed by Leinster with 30.2%.  Leinster's share gradually began to increase and surpassed that of Munster by 1891.  Its share continued to increase further and by 1971 it accounted for over half of the population of the State and currently stands at 55.29%. Munster's share of the total population has declined from 36.70% in 1841 to 26.91% in 2016.  The decline in the share of Connacht and Ulster (part of) has been even more acute, the 2016 levels being 11.58% and 6.22% respectively according to the 2016 Census preliminary results. 

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2.2 Average annual births, deaths, natural increase and estimated net migration for each intercensal period
 
Thousands
PeriodBirthsDeathsNatural increaseChange in populationEstimated net migration
1926-19365842160-17
1936-1946604317-1-19
1946-19516640261-24
1951-1956633627-12-39
1956-1961613426-16-42
1961-196663332913-16
1966-197163333019-11
1971-19796933354914
1979-198173334038-3
1981-198667333419-14
1986-1991563224-3-27
1991-1996503118202
1996-20025431234926
2002-20066128338148
2006-20117328457025
2011-201669304034-6
Source: CSO

 Interactive table: StatBank link

The census figures relate to the number of persons present in the State on Census Night.  The change in population between successive censuses reflects the effect of births and deaths and the movement of persons into and out of the State during the relevant period.  As the number of births and deaths is known from the vital statistics registration system, it is possible to determine net migration (the difference between inward and outward migration) as a residual figure.  Because of differing lengths, it is best to express the figure for intercensal periods as annual averages.

In the period from 1926 to 1951, gains due to natural increase were counterbalanced by losses due to net emigration, resulting in little change to the overall population totals.  The heavy losses due to high net emigration during the 1950's resulted in an average annual fall in population of around 14,000 during that decade and culminated in the population low point of 2.8 million in 1961.  The population has increased in every intercensal year since then, apart from 1986-1991 when a fairly modest decline was experienced.  Population growth peaked at 81,000 per annum during the 2002-2006 period.  The most recent intercensal period (2011-2016) shows the natural increase at 39,000 persons per annum, with 69,000 births and 30,000 deaths.

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2.3 Estimated annual population classified by age group
 
Thousands
Age Group 20092010201120122013201420152016
0-4 Years335.2347.0356.0364.6365.7362.6360.9355.6
5-9 Years310.7314.6319.6324.8333.1341.9352.4363.2
10-14 Years290.5296.1301.0305.4308.9311.4316.1320.5
15-19 Years294.3289.4281.0275.7274.5279.1283.2288.1
20-24 Years354.4326.3298.6277.7258.8244.3233.5226.8
25-29 Years400.6381.6362.9341.2320.0305.0290.4282.4
30-34 Years374.5381.2393.4392.3387.5378.1363.9351.2
35-39 Years356.3359.7363.1364.3363.8366.6371.5378.7
40-44 Years316.7321.8329.3335.7342.8348.1351.8354.5
45-49 Years295.6300.9304.1308.1312.1314.9319.5326.3
50-54 Years262.3267.4273.7278.2283.1289.6295.8299.6
55-59 Years235.7239.6243.4248.0251.1255.3259.9266.7
60-64 Years207.7214.0217.1220.0223.6226.4230.7234.6
65-69 Years156.6163.5172.1181.5189.4196.3202.6206.6
70-74 Years124.6127.9130.1132.7138.2143.3149.4158.6
75-79 Years96.899.1101.4103.6105.8108.3111.1113.1
80-84 Years66.968.469.871.072.674.976.978.8
85 Years and over54.056.158.260.562.163.866.068.4
Total4,533.44,554.84,574.94,585.44,593.14,609.64,635.44,673.7
Source: CSO

 Interative table: StatBank link

The estimated average age of the population continued to increase and stood at 37.3 in April 2016 compared with 35.9 in 2010, a gain of 1.4 years. Since 1996, when it was 34.1, the average age has increased by more than 3 years.

The population is increasing across most age groups with the main exception being persons aged 20-34 years. This decrease is due to the decline in births in the late 1980's and early 1990's combined with the effects of emigration.

People are living longer as can be seen in the changes in the estimated population aged over 65 in 2016, which shows an increase of 21.4% since 2010.

MalesFemales
85+-2370044700
80 - 84 -3410044700
75 - 79 -5300060100
70 - 74 -7760081000
65 - 69 -102300104300
60 - 64 -115900118700
55 - 59 -132200134500
50 - 54 -148100151600
45 - 49 -163200163100
40 - 44 -175700178800
35 - 39 -184600194100
30 - 34 -166500184600
25 - 29 -139300143200
20 - 24 -117200109600
15 - 19 -148000140100
10 - 14 -163400157100
5 - 9 -183800179400
0 - 4 -181900173700

Overall it is estimated that there were 52,800 more females than males in the State in April 2016 resulting in an overall sex ratio of 97.8 males for every 100 females.

The population estimates for the years 2012 to 2016 are subject to revision once the definitive results of Census 2016 become available.

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2.4 Persons usually resident in the State on census night, by place of birth and age group, 2011
 
 All ages0 - 14 years15 - 24 years25 - 44 years45 - 64 years65 years and over
Ireland3,758,511880,170461,0961,048,018876,839492,388
Ireland - county of usual residence2,825,408731,189367,727736,424632,325357,743
Ireland - county other than county of usual residence933,103148,98193,369311,594244,514134,645
All countries excluding Ireland766,77093,822104,375381,957150,29336,323
EU 555,59461,77571,901270,629119,87531,414
Northern Ireland58,4707,8084,84019,97217,2358,615
England and Wales212,28622,04530,25074,53168,11617,344
Scotland17,8711,2501,3836,6676,2302,341
Austria708919634312652
Belgium1,47925723762127490
Bulgaria1,7831312111,13629114
Cyprus2603730948217
Czech Republic5,4944707243,71153257
Denmark8858114844215856
Estonia2,4792243771,56330312
Finland8736011355312621
France10,0708711,8866,0091,131173
Germany12,9801,2471,7656,0702,8811,017
Greece57549823537615
Hungary7,4137057415,33857752
Italy7,1464995944,849920284
Latvia19,9892,6433,45011,1302,66997
Lithuania34,8474,6115,65820,3814,075122
Luxembourg14146493583
Malta336342312212334
Netherlands4,4995656061,6671,255406
Poland115,19314,17212,41679,1259,218262
Portugal2,2463072271,41626432
Romania17,9951,7553,37911,1911,58090
Slovakia10,6958691,4577,45088435
Slovenia1901322123284
Spain7,0038008014,794492116
Sweden1,68813533694322153
Other Europe 22,4273,2952,68012,5683,511373
Russian Federation5,9361,6405802,6081,04266
Ukraine4,1234013992,66463425
Moldova, Republic of3,4213204862,2213877
Other Europe 8,9479341,2155,0751,448275
Africa 54,4197,2028,25030,4097,801757
South Africa8,1169701,3273,9741,518327
Nigeria19,7803,2482,71211,2952,46857
Mauritius2,9191725981,90821823
Zimbabwe2,7903504351,41252568
Congo2,2763044941,17728318
Other Africa 18,5382,1582,68410,6432,789264
Asia 79,02111,17210,84346,1449,7211,141
China11,4586042,3047,76369493
India17,8562,9691,09611,9181,500373
Philippines13,8332,2191,2517,7902,51756
Pakistan8,3291,0261,1355,0031,09471
Malaysia3,7822428372,09453970
Bangladesh2,9202543512,1091988
Hong Kong1,7058125156574167
Other Asian countries 19,1383,7773,6188,9022,438403
America 47,1168,8489,23518,4498,1862,398
United States27,7266,9695,3977,5185,8272,015
Brazil9,2986902,2325,78155936
Canada4,8094178882,3111,010183
Other America 5,2837727182,839790164
Australia5,9641,2151,2652,544777163
New Zealand2,0522991761,10539874
Other Oceanic countries 1771625109243
All countries4,525,281973,992565,4711,429,9751,027,132528,711
Source: CSO

Interactive table: StatBank link

According to the 2011 Census, 83% of persons usually resident in the State were born there.  Of these just over three out of four live in the county in which they were born.  Just 58,470 Northern Ireland-born persons were usual residents of the State in 2011. 

The groups that showed the largest increase were those already well established in Ireland.  The fastest growing groups were Romanians (up 110%), Indians (up 91%), Polish (up 83%), Latvians (up 43%) and Lithuanians (up 40%).

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This map is © Ordnance Survey Ireland. All rights reserved. License number 01/05/001.
Show Table: 2.5 Persons usually resident in the State on Census night, by nationality and age group, 2011

Interactive table: StatBank link

Between 2006 and 2011 the number of non-Irish nationals increased by 124,624 persons, or 29.7%, from 419,733 to 544,357.

A small number of groups accounted for the majority of the increase.  Polish nationals increased by 93.7% from 63,276 to 122,585, accounting for almost half of the total increase among this group, and overtaking UK nationals as the largest non-Irish group living in Ireland.

Other groups that showed large increases were Latvians (up 7,274, 54.6%), Lithuanians (up 12,055, 48.9%), Romanians (up 9,608, 124.8%), Brazilians (up 4,316, 98.4%) and Indians (up 8,526, 100.8%).

In the twelve months leading up to Census Night in 2011, 53,267 persons immigrated into the State.  Of these, 36.8% were Irish born.  In terms of non-nationals, 4,549 UK and 3,825 Polish were the leading immigrant groups.

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2.6 Occupied and vacant permanent housing units by area, classified by occupancy status on Census Night, 2016
 
 Total Housing StockVacant holiday homeOther vacant dwellingsTotal vacant dwellings Vacancy Rate %Actual change in vacant dwellings 2011-2016Percentage Change in vacant dwellings 2011-2016
Leinster1,046,54512,10378,00590,1089-16,550-16
Carlow23,6342722,1452,41710-785-25
Dublin534,6521,43935,29336,7327-6,975-16
Dublin City242,39793720,84421,7819-2,857-12
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown87,2641784,9685,1466-1,470-22
Fingal105,9652935,5655,8586-1,346-19
South Dublin99,026313,9163,9474-1,302-25
Kildare80,7461464,9675,1136-1,198-19
Kilkenny39,5345203,2093,7299-895-19
Laois33,1151393,1633,30210-785-19
Longford18,7472603,0213,28118-794-19
Louth51,7827494,2565,00510-1,227-20
Meath71,4332615,0655,3267-847-14
Offaly31,0382352,7683,00310-617-17
Westmeath37,2952754,0594,33412-587-12
Wexford69,0566,7566,41213,16819-1,161-8
Wicklow55,5131,0513,6474,6988-679-13
Munster568,63323,19760,20183,39815-9,487-10
Clare56,2854,7396,48011,21920-563-5
Cork231,2077,11821,28728,40512-4,924-15
Cork City56,161624,4914,5538-1,615-26
Cork County175,0467,05616,79623,85214-3,309-12
Kerry75,3197,91710,34018,25724-1,462-7
Limerick82,7413938,4638,85611-1,258-12
Limerick City26,480192,5642,58310-690-21
Limerick County56,2613745,8996,27311-568-8
North Tipperary31,1325433,7384,28114-246-5
South Tipperary38,9374104,2284,63812-179-4
Waterford53,0122,0775,6657,74215-855-10
Waterford City22,627812,6692,75012-550-17
Waterford County30,3851,9962,9964,99216-305-6
Connacht263,42413,33839,34352,68120-2,556-5
Galway113,9753,97713,65417,63115-1,190-6
Galway City35,0062963,3753,67110-84-2
Galway County78,9693,68110,27913,96018-1,106-7
Leitrim18,2031,5893,7865,37530-151-3
Mayo66,5474,76611,18015,94624-284-2
Roscommon31,5341,1645,6586,82222-510-7
Sligo33,1651,8425,0656,90721-421-6
Ulster (part of)144,29312,56620,80933,37523-1,296-4
Cavan33,8759925,1706,16218-1,115-15
Donegal84,78511,34112,55823,89928-97-0
Monaghan25,6332333,0813,31413-84-2
State2,022,89561,204198,358259,56213-29,889-10
Source: CSO

Interactive table: StatBank link

In April 2016 there were 2,022,895 dwellings or housing units in the State.  Of these, 1,718,465 were occupied while there were 44,868 dwellings where all the occupants were temporarily absent on Census Night.  

A total of 61,204 housing units were classified as vacant holiday homes.  The remaining 198,358 were vacant houses and apartments.

 

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The overall vacancy rate in 2016, including holiday homes, was 12.8%.  If holiday homes are excluded from the housing stock the vacancy rate drops to 9.8%.

The figure of 2,022,895 permanent dwellings recorded in Census 2016 was an increase of 18,981 (0.94%) on the housing stock enumerated in 2011, and represents an average annual growth rate of 0.18% during the 2011 to 2016 intercensal period.

 

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