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Press Statement


20 April 2017

Profile 1 Housing in Ireland

Census 2016 Results Logo

‌The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today publishes the first thematic report of the Census 2016 results - Profile 1 Housing in Ireland. The results show that a total of 2,003,645 houses and apartments were enumerated in the 2016 Census. Of these 1,697,665 were occupied by persons usually resident in the State. There were 183,312 vacant houses and apartments, while the census also counted 62,148 vacant holiday homes.

Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician explained: “In recognition of the demand from users, and society in general, for a better understanding of housing in Ireland, the Central Statistics Office has prioritised the housing release as its first thematic report from Census 2016. We believe this report provides a clear picture of some of the main developments in the Irish housing landscape over the past five years, including new analysis of vacant properties, such as type of dwelling and distance to the nearest town”.

Today’s full report is available on the CSO website at Census 2016 Profile 1 - Housing In Ireland.

Highlights from Profile 1 Housing in Ireland

Considerable slowdown in housing stock growth
The total housing stock grew by just 8,800 (0.4%) between 2011 and 2016, in sharp contrast to the growth of 225,232 dwellings recorded between 2006 and 2011.

Almost 10% of the population in accommodation with less than 1 room per person
There were 95,013 permanent households with more persons than rooms, according to Census 2016, accommodating close to 10% of the population, at an average of 4.7 persons per household. This is a 28% rise on the equivalent number in 2011 (73,997).

Decline in home ownership rate
The number of owner occupied households fell between 2011 and 2016 (from 1,149,924 to 1,147,552) causing the overall home ownership rate to drop from 69.7% to 67.6%, a rate last seen in 1971. The rate in rural areas fell from 84% in 2011 to 82% in 2016 while the percentage of urban homes owned (outright or with a loan) has fallen from 61.6% to 59.2% in 2016.

When examined by age the results show that renting was more common than owning before age 35. Beyond this, more householders owned rather than rented their home. The equivalent age in previous censuses was 32 years in 2011, 28 years in 2006, 27 years 2002 and 26 years in 1991.

Cost of renting
The average weekly rent paid to private landlords in April 2016 was €199.92, up from €171.19 (16.8%) in 2011. The highest growth in rent was in Dublin City which increased by almost 30% while rises in excess of 20% were also recorded in Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown (26.2%), Fingal (22.8%), South Dublin (22.7%) and Kildare (20.3%).

Types of dwellings
The number of occupied apartments (purpose built, converted and bedsits) increased by 11.4% to 204,145 over the 2011-2016 period.  This accounts for 12% of all dwelling types in 2016 (up from 10.9% in 2011).  Within the Dublin City local authority area, apartments (74,537) were the main dwelling type for the first time replacing terraced houses (74,446).

Fewer vacant dwellings
There was a 15% drop in the number of all vacant dwellings (including holiday homes) from 289,451 in 2011 to 245,460 in April 2016. 62,148 of these were holiday homes, leaving 183,312 other vacant dwellings. For the first time in Census 2016, the type of dwelling was captured for vacant dwellings. The results show that of the 183,312 other vacant dwellings, 79,966 were detached houses, 60,154 were semi-detached or terraced dwellings while the remaining 43,192 were apartments.

At individual town level, and excluding holiday homes, Blacklion (46.4%) in Cavan had the highest vacancy rate, followed by Keshcarrigan (45.6%) in Leitrim and Kilgarvan (43.1%) in Kerry. Among larger towns (population of 10,000 or more) Letterkenny (14.9%), Longford (14.6 %) and Ballina (14.3%) ranked highest in terms of vacancy.

To view and download the publication, visit the CSO website at Census 2016 Profile 1 - Housing In Ireland.

Editor's Note:
  • The census figures relate to the de facto population i.e. the population recorded for each area represents the total of all persons present within its boundaries on the night of Sunday, 24 April 2016, together with all persons who arrived in that area on the morning of Monday, 25 April 2016, not having been enumerated elsewhere.  Persons on board ships in port are included with the population of adjacent areas. The figures, therefore, include visitors present on Census Night as well as those in residence, while usual residents temporarily absent from the area are excluded.
  • The de facto measure of the population in April 2016 was 4,761,865 while the usually resident total was 4,689,921 - a difference of 71,944 or 1.5%. The usually resident measure is used when analysing topics such as nationality and households and families.
  • The housing stock is defined as the total number of permanent residential dwellings that were available for occupancy at the time of census enumeration. In this report, the housing stock consists of permanent private households (inhabited by both usual residents and visitors), holiday homes, vacant houses or apartments, along with dwellings where all the occupants were temporarily absent on Census night. However, communal establishments, temporary private households (e.g. caravans and mobile homes), along with dwellings categorised by the enumerators as being derelict or under construction are excluded from this definition.
  • In identifying vacant dwellings, enumerators were instructed to look for signs that the dwelling was not occupied - e.g. no furniture, no cars outside, junk mail accumulating, overgrown garden etc., and to find out from neighbours whether it was vacant or not. It was not sufficient to classify a dwelling as vacant after one or two visits. Similar precautions were also taken before classifying holiday homes.
  • Dwellings under construction and derelict properties were not included in the count of vacant dwellings. As a result, the empty housing units were classified as vacant houses, vacant apartments or holiday homes only if the dwelling was considered fit for habitation by the enumerator. In the case of newly constructed dwellings, that meant that the roof, doors, windows or walls had to be completely built or installed. For older dwellings that were unoccupied, the roof, doors and windows had to be fully intact.
  • Profile 1 Housing in Ireland is the first of eleven profile reports that will be produced from Census 2016. The remaining profile reports will address themes such as: Ireland’s age profile; the homeless; commuting; migration and diversity and health, disability and carers.  A copy of the release schedule is available here.
For further information contact:

Dermot Corcoran (+353) 1 895 1316 or Census Enquiries (+353) 1 895 1460

or email

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