Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Census 2011 Results


This is Ireland - Highlights from Census 2011, Part 2


The Central Statistics Office today released the latest publication in its series of Census 2011 results, showing that the number of persons in the labour force in April 2011 was 2,232,203 – an increase of 122,705, or 5.8 per cent, since April 2006. Females accounted for 107,704, or nearly 88 per cent, of this increase.

Today’s publication, This is Ireland – Highlights from Census 2011, Part 2”, which is the second of two summary publications presenting the results of the 2011 census, examines social and economic topics such as employment, occupations, education and skills and health related issues.

Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician at the CSO: “This report provides a broad overview of the socio-economic situation in Ireland in April 2011. It presents findings on topics such as the changing rate of participation in both the labour force and education of young people, how unemployment has affected various groups and areas over the past five years and how health and social class are related.”

“All of these topics will also be covered in more detail in future Profile reports to be released during the remainder of 2012, each of which will examine the data in a way that seeks to get behind the headline figures” continued Ms Cullen. A complete list of planned publications can be found in the appendices of the report.

The full report is available on the CSO website at along with all the data which is available in a range of interactive web tables, allowing users to build their own tables by selecting the data they are interested in and downloading it in an easy to use format for their own analysis.

In co-operation with the All Ireland Research Observatory (AIRO) at NUI Maynooth, summary census data is available in thematic maps for Electoral Districts and Small Areas on the AIRO website. Just follow the link from the CSO website.

Ms Cullen concluded “Small area data is an important output from the census and the complete set of tables for all the standard layers of geography will be published in an easy to use interactive mapping application on the CSO web site on Tuesday 31st July. Combined with the availability of thematic visualisation tools on the AIRO website, these new developments will bring census data alive in a fresh and exciting way making it easier to access for all.”


Highlights of the report


  • The labour force participation rate for males fell from 72.3 per cent in 2006 to 69.4 per cent in 2011 whilst the female participation rate rose over the same period from 52.8 per cent to 54.6 per cent.
  • The number of retired persons increased by 21 per cent, from 377,927 to 457,394 while the number of females looking after the home or family as their principal status fell by 48,422, a decline of 13.1 per cent.
  • The overall unemployment rate for the State on a Principal Economic Status basis was 19 per cent. This census-based rate, which differs for methodological reasons from the official QNHS figures, showed that 424,843 persons were unemployed in April 2011. Among the cities, Waterford City and suburbs had the highest unemployment rate at 24.6 per cent, while Dublin city and suburbs had the lowest rate at 17.4 per cent.
  • Overall there were 122,682 (6.4%) fewer persons at work in April 2011 compared with five years previously; within this there was an increase of 30,011 in the number of women at work, and a decrease of 152,693 (13.8%) in the number of men at work.
  • The number of non-Irish nationals at work increased by 23,670 or 9.7 per cent between 2006 and 2011. This contrasts sharply with a decline of 136,642 or 8.4 per cent in the number of Irish nationals over the same period. In April 2011, the hotels and restaurants sector had the highest proportion of non-Irish national workers (38.1%), followed by business activities (19.6%), manufacturing (18.4%) and the wholesale and retail sector(17.8%).
  • Unemployment amongst non-Irish nationals increased over the period, more than doubling between 2006 and 2011 from 33,587 to 77,460, giving an unemployment rate of 22.4 per cent compared with 18.5 per cent for Irish nationals in April 2011.
  • Census 2011 saw a strong increase in the number of students aged 15 years and over since 2006 – increasing by 59,242 (16.9%) from 349,596 to 408,838. In particular, participation rates in full-time education for 19 to 24 year old males increased from 27.1 per cent in 2006 to 38.9 per cent in 2011. This compares with 42.2 per cent for females in this age group in 2011.
  • A new question on the main field of study of the highest qualification completed to date (excluding secondary school qualifications) was asked for the first time in Census 2011. The most popular category overall was social sciences, business and law with 413,959 persons, representing 28 per cent of all respondents, followed by engineering, manufacturing and construction with 284,925 persons.
  • The unemployment rate for persons who had attained at most a primary education was 33.7 per cent. This compares with an unemployment rate of 7.8 per cent for persons with a third level degree or higher.
  • The number of people commuting to work fell by 5% from 1.79 million in 2006 to 1.70 million in 2011. Decreases were seen in all categories of commuters apart from cycling which rose slightly from 36,306 to 39,803, an increase of 3,497 persons. Amongst public transport users, bus users fell from 114,956 to 91,676, a fall of 23,280 while train users were also down marginally from 54,942 to 52,749.
  • For the first time more third level students drove to college than used any other mode of travel, with 28 per cent driving to college in their own car compared with 22 per cent five years previously.
  • Car ownership among households continued its upward trend with 1.36 million households having at least one car in 2011 – an increase of 186,000 from 2006.
  • Broadband use in private households increased from 21.1 per cent in 2006 to 65.3 per cent in 2011. 70.4 per cent of the State’s urban households had broadband compared with 56.5 per cent in rural areas.
  • A new question on general health was introduced for the first time in Census 2011 and asked respondents to select one of five categories ranging from very good to very bad. Among 10-14 year olds 87 per cent perceived their health as very good – the highest for any age group; by age 40-44 this had fallen to 60 per cent. By age 65 only one in three people identified themselves as being in very good health.
  • There were a total of 595,335 people with a disability in April 2011 accounting for 13 per cent of the population, up from 393,785 (9.3%) in 2006.
  • The total number of carers aged 15 and over increased by 21,967 from 160,917 to 182,884. In addition there were 4,228 carers under the age of 15 bringing the total number of carers to 187,112, or 4.1 per cent of the population.


For copies of the publication:

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


For further information contact:

Shaun McLaughlin on 01 895 1474

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

Census Enquiries: 01 895 1460

Fax: 01 895 1399




Further information about Census 2011 is available on

Central Statistics Office                                                                        28 June 2012

– ENDS –