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Small Area Population Statistics (SAPS)

Small Area Population Statistics are statistics produced for a range of geographical levels from State to Small Areas. Small area data can be accessed through our Interactive Mapping Tool or through data tables at https://data.cso.ie/. Small area data can also be downloaded as csv files.

Interactive Mapping Tool 

Use the map to explore detailed census data for a selected area. The application allows users to find their location of interest by searching for an address/area or by pinpointing a location on the map. There is also an option to see the data at various geographical levels, by selecting the boundary type. A user guide is available on the Census Mapping Resources page. 

There are 48 Small Area Population Statistics (SAPS) tables organised in the following themes. 

 

  • Theme 1: Sex, age and marital status
  • Theme 2: Migration, ethnicity and religion
  • Theme 3: Irish language
  • Theme 4: Families
  • Theme 5: Private households
  • Theme 6: Housing
  • Theme 7: Volunteers
  • Theme 8: Principal status
  • Theme 9: Social class and socio-economic group
  • Theme 10: Education
  • Theme 11: Commuting
  • Theme 12: Disability, carers and general health
  • Theme 13: Occupations
  • Theme 14: Industries
  • Theme 15: Motor car availability and internet access

 

Download Small Area Data and Boundary Files

SAPS data can be downloaded below in csv format. The corresponding boundaries can be downloaded from the Tailte Éireann - National Mapping Division Open Data Portal at the links below. Generalised versions of the boundary files are also available on the Portal.

A glossary of table variables is available here SAPS 2022 Glossary (XLS 30KB) .   

 

 

CSV DownloadUngeneralised Boundaries (UG)
CSO Small Areas 2022 (18,919)  CSO Small Areas
CSO Electoral Divisions 2022 (3,420) CSO Electoral Divisions
CSO Towns/Urban Areas 2022 (867) CSO Towns/Urban Areas
CSO Local Electoral Areas 2022 (166) CSO Local Electoral Areas
Administrative Counties 2019 (31) Administrative Counties
Limistéir Pleanála Teanga 2015 (26) Limistéir Pleanála Teanga
NUTS3 Regions 2015 (8) NUTS3 Regions 
Provinces 2019 (4) Provinces

SAPS data for all of the above geography levels is also available in a single file,  Complete set of Census 2022 SAPs (ZIP 13,891KB) .  

Small Areas (SAs)

Small Areas were first published for Census 2011 following work undertaken by the National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) on behalf of Ordnance Survey Ireland (now Tailte Éireann) and in consultation with the CSO. They were designed as the lowest level of geography for the compilation of statistics in line with data protection guidelines and typically contain between 50 and 200 dwellings. A further constraint imposed when creating these new areas was that they nested within Electoral Division boundaries. Finally, they are generally comprised either of complete townlands or neighbourhoods.

Census 2022 Small Areas have been redrawn to ensure they remain consistent with the principle of data protection and are relatively comparable in size. This redraw was necessary following changes in population size and distribution between 2016 and 2022 and was done by the CSO with support from Tailte Éireann.

Electoral Divisions (EDs)

Electoral Divisions are the smallest legally defined administrative areas in the State. Previously known as District Electoral Divisions (DEDs)1, they were initially subdivisions of poor law unions, grouping one or more townlands together to elect members to a Board of Guardians. The DED boundaries were drawn by a Poor Law Boundary Commission, with the intention of producing areas of roughly equal 'rateable value' as well as population. EDs are mostly contiguous but may bear little relation to natural community boundaries.

There are 3,441 legally defined EDs in the State. However, in order to render them suitable for production of statistics, the CSO has amended some ED boundaries to ensure that statistical disclosure does not occur. This has had the effect of amalgamating some EDs and splitting others. The amending of the Cork City and Cork County boundaries necessitated a redrawing of Electoral Division boundaries within Cork to ensure all EDs in the county were suitable for production of statistical data. For Census 2022, the CSO is publishing data for 3,420 Electoral Divisions.

 1The term District Electoral Division was changed to Electoral Division by Section 23 of the Local Government Act, 1994 with effect from 24 June 1996 (S.I. 196 of 1996 refers).

Towns/Urban Areas also known as Built Up Areas (BUAs)

For Census 2016, census towns which previously combined legal towns and their environs were newly defined using the standard census town criteria (with the 100 metres proximity rule). For some towns, the impact of this was to lose area and population compared with previous computations.

Following Census 2016, the CSO, Ordnance Survey Ireland (now Tailte Éireann) and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage began collaborating on a new type of urban geography that would be used to define towns for the census. The result of this collaboration was the introduction of Built Up Areas (BUAs). One of the key advantages to BUAs for statistical data production is that their boundaries are contiguous with Small Area boundaries which eliminates the possibility of statistical disclosure. This entails that BUAs entirely nest within Small Areas.

There is more information on BUAs in the Census 2022 Urban Boundaries and Built Up Areas information pages.

Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts

For the purposes of Local Authority elections, each county and city is divided into Local Electoral Areas (LEAs) which are constituted on the basis of Orders made under the Local Government Act, 1941. Statutory Instruments 610-638 of 2018 and 6-8, 27-28, 156-157 of 2019 state the current composition of LEAs and their subsequent amalgamation into Municipal Districts.

In general, LEAs are formed by aggregating Electoral Divisions. However, in a number of cases, Electoral Divisions are split between LEAs and in order to render them suitable for production of statistics, the CSO has amended some LEA boundaries to ensure that statistical disclosure does not occur. As a result of these amendments, Census 2022 LEAs are comprised of whole Census 2022 Electoral Divisions.