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Census 2011 Results

Homeless persons in Ireland, a special census report


The Central Statistics Office today released a special census report on homeless persons in Ireland showing that 3,808 persons were either sleeping rough or in accommodation designated for the homeless on the night of April 10th 2011. Of these 2,539 were male and 1,269 were female.

Homeless people were identified based on where they were on Census Night rather than by self-identification, an approach agreed in advance by the major stakeholders. The report shows that 64 persons were sleeping rough on the night of Sunday April 10th, with a further 3,744 in accommodation for the homeless.

Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician at the CSO: “As part of Census 2011, a count was performed of people who spent the night of April 10th 2011 either sleeping rough or in accommodation providing shelter for the homeless. This was the first time such a comprehensive approach to identifying homeless people in Ireland was undertaken as part of the census and follows strong cooperation among all the main stakeholders working in the area of homelessness in Ireland. The CSO would like thank in particular the Dublin Region Homeless Executive for their help in performing a count of people sleeping rough on Census Night in Dublin on our behalf.”

The report examines the homeless population across a range of variables such as age, sex, marital status, general health and disability. It also provides results on the level of education of homeless persons along with their economic status, as well as providing information on entire families who were homeless on census night.

The full report is available on the CSO website at

Highlights of the report


Of the 3,808 people who were in accommodation for the homeless, 1,648 or 43.3 per cent were in Emergency accommodation.


Age, marital status and families

There were 457 children aged 14 and under in the homeless count, representing 12 per cent of the total.

Amongst the homeless population aged 15 and over, 16.7 per cent were either separated or divorced, significantly higher than the general population for which the equivalent figure was 6 per cent.

There were 296 family units enumerated as part of the homeless count, representing 905 people.


Economic status

Half of those aged 15 or over, 1,660 people, indicated that they were in the labour force. Of these 274 were at work while 1,386 were either looking for their first job or unemployed, accounting for 84 per cent of the group.


Level of education

More than one in four homeless people aged between 15 and 59 did not have a qualification higher than primary level, compared with 8 per cent of the general population in the same age group.

There were 1,439 homeless people who did not have an educational qualification beyond lower secondary level, representing 48.5 per cent of the homeless population aged 15 to 59, compared with one in four in the general population in this age group.


Health and disability

Almost one third of the homeless population indicated their general health was ‘Fair’, ‘Bad’ or ‘Very bad’ compared with 10 per cent of the general population.

A total of 1,581 homeless persons had a disability, representing 42 per cent of the total, in sharp contrast to the general population where the rate was 13 per cent.

The most common type of disability among the homeless population was a psychological or emotional condition with almost one in five indicating they had a disability in this category.


For copies of the publication:

To view and download the publication, visit the CSO website at


For further information contact:

Cormac Halpin on (01) 895 1355.

Central Statistics Office, Swords Business Campus, Balheary Road, Swords, Co. Dublin.

Census Enquiries: (01) 895 1460  Fax: (01) 895 1399


Central Statistics Office                                                                  6 September 2012


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