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Younger age profile among Traveller Community

Two out of every five Travellers were aged less than 15 years in 2002 compared with one in five for the population as a whole. This information is contained in Census 2002 Volume 8 – Irish Traveller Community, which gives further detailed results of the census conducted on 28 April 2002. This report contains results relating to the Irish Traveller Community covering the main demographic and socio-economic topics distinguished in the census (see Editor’s note).

Older Travellers (i.e. those aged 65 years and over) accounted for just 3.3 per cent of the total Traveller population compared with 11.1 per cent for the general population. The distinctive age structure of the Traveller Community resulted in a median age of 18 compared with a national figure of 32.


Most Travellers live in permanent accommodation

Of the 23,700 Irish Travellers enumerated in the 2002 census, 20,000 lived in households consisting entirely of Travellers, 3,000 in households comprising Travellers and other persons, and 700 in communal establishments. Approximately 11,100 of the 20,000 Travellers residing in private households lived in permanent accommodation (including permanent accommodation located in halting sites). A further 7,400 lived in temporary accommodation while 1,500 did not indicate the type of accommodation they occupied. Less than four out of ten Travellers who responded to the question therefore lived in temporary accommodation.


Over 90 per cent of Irish Travellers lived at same address one year previously

Approximately 20,500 of the 22,900 Irish Travellers aged one year and over at the time of the census lived at the same address one year previously. This represents 90 per cent of the relevant Traveller population - the same proportion as for the population as a whole. Of the 2,300 Travellers who changed address during the 12 months before census day just over 1,500 lived in the same county one year earlier.

About one in nine Travellers lived outside the State for a continuous period of one year or more compared with one in six for the general population.


Tuam has highest proportion of Travellers

Of the towns with a population of 1,500 or more persons in April 2002, Tuam (7.7%) had the highest proportion of Travellers. This was followed by Abbeyfeale (7.1%), Ballinrobe (6.9%) and Athenry (6.7%). Overall, the Irish Traveller population (23,681) represented 0.6 per cent of the Irish population at the time of the 2002 census.


Nearly three out of four male Travellers unemployed

The labour force participation rate for male Travellers (72%) slightly exceeded that for total males (70%) while the rate for female Travellers (38%) was considerably below that for females in general (47%). Unemployment among male Travellers measured 73 per cent according to the self-assessed principal economic status question on the census form. The national measure of unemployment for males on a comparable basis was 9.4 per cent according to the 2002 census results. Corresponding rates for females were 63 per cent for female Travellers and 8 per cent for the female population overall.


Travellers leave education system at younger age

Nearly two thirds of the 7,000 Travellers who indicated the age at which their full-time education ceased left before the then prevailing statutory minimum age of 15 years compared with 15 per cent for the population as a whole. As a consequence two thirds of all school-leavers among the Traveller Community were educated to at most, Primary level, compared with 21 per cent for the overall population.


Editor’s note

The publication Census 2002 - Principal Demographic Results, released on 19 June 2003, contains a summary at State level of data from Volumes 1 - 4, 8, 11 and 12 of the detailed census reports. The publication released today, Volume 8, provides greater detail for the Irish Traveller Community including tables at a more detailed geographical level.


All published tables from Census 2002 are being made available on the CSO web site (Census 2002 Volume 8 - Irish Traveller Community).


For copies of the publication contact:

Central Statistics Office, Information Section, Skehard Road, Cork
Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.
Price: € 15.00

Copies can also be downloaded from the website.


For further information contact:

Central Statistics Office, Ardee Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6.
Census Inquiries (01) 498 4000 ext. 4284-4288.
Fax (01) 498 4268

29 January 2004


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