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Press Statement


15 June 2017

Census 2016 Results: Summary Results - Part 2

Census 2016 Results Logo

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today publishes Part 2 of the Census 2016 Summary Results.  The headline results show that there were 2,304,037 people in the labour force in April 2016, an increase of 3.2% on the 2011 figure, giving an annual average rate of increase of 0.6%. This compares with 1.1% between 2006 and 2011.

Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician, commented: “With today’s publication of the Summary Results Part 2, the CSO has now released first results for all of the topics in the census.  This report focuses on the socio-economic aspects of the census such as employment, occupation and education, as well as health, disability and caring.  Between now and the end of the year these and other topics will be covered in more detail in our remaining thematic reports.  All of these reports will be available on our website –”  

Today’s full report is available on the CSO website at Census 2016 Summary Results - Part 2

Highlights from Census 2016 Summary Results - Part 2

At work / retired / unemployed
The number of people at work increased by 199,281 to reach 2,006,641 in April 2016.  The number of females at work grew by 9.0% to 929,967, while there were 1,076,674 males at work, an increase of 12.8% since 2011.  The number of retired people increased by 19.2% to 545,407. 

The labour force participation rate fell slightly (-0.5%) to 61.4%.  Male participation fell to 67.8%, bringing it back below 2002 rates, while female participation continued to increase and stood at 55.2% in April 2016.  When looked at by nationality, the results show that the participation rate among Irish nationals was 59.5%, while among non-Irish nationals it was 73.9%.

There were 293,830 non-Irish nationals at work, an increase of 9.6% since April 2011.

The number of women looking after the home or family continued to decline, falling by 11.5% between 2011 and 2016, while the number of men in this category increased by 15.0% over the five years taking the total to 20,747, representing 6.8% of all homemakers. 

As measured by the census, the rate of unemployment in April 2016 was 12.9%.  Among the cities, Waterford had the highest unemployment rate at 18.8%, while Longford had the highest rate (30.6%) of the large towns.  There were 79 unemployment blackspots. (Blackspots are defined as Electoral Districts with at least 200 people in the labour force and an unemployment rate of 27% or higher).  Eight of the top 10 were in Limerick.

Employment by sector / Socio-economic group and social class 
In April 2016, almost four-fifths of those at work (78.6%) were employed in the services sector.  Among females, 90.7% of all those in employment worked in this sector. 

Health and Social Work saw the biggest increase in numbers employed, with 25,647 more people working in this area.  Other sectors that experienced notable increases included Computer and Related Activities (up by 21,877, i.e. more than 50%) and Construction (up 15,092).  Some 5,991 fewer people worked in Public Administration and Defence, while 5,361 fewer people worked in Financial Intermediation (banking).  

In terms of socio-economic grouping, the largest category was non-manual, with 996,696 persons.  The biggest increase (+67,169) occurred in the Lower Professional group.  Both Own Account Workers (-17,493) and Farmers (-12,209) showed declines.  

The population is also classified into one of seven social class groups ranked on the basis of occupation.  In Census 2016, 28.1% of the population (1,336,896 persons) were in social class group 2, Managerial and Technical.  The only class to show a decline since 2011 was Skilled Manual, where numbers fell by 5.0%.  

There were 427,128 students aged 15 and over in April 2016, an increase of 4.5% on the 2011 figure.  Males comprised 49.4% of this student population, up from 49.2% in 2011.  Among those aged 19-22, females continue to have a higher participation in education with 59.5%, while the rate for males was 52.8%.

Travel patterns
In April 2016, 1.88 million people were commuting to work, an increase of 10.7% on 2011.  73.3% of all workers travelled to work in a private vehicle, down from 75.5% in 2011.  Some 9.3% of commuters – 174,569 people – used public transport, an increase of 30,144 persons.

Cycling to work has shown the largest percentage increase of all means of transport, rising from 39,803 in 2011 to 56,837 in 2016, an increase of 42.8% over five years.

Among primary school students 60% (327,039) were driven to school, while 10.4% (56,846) used public transport, down from 60,954 in 2011.

Health, Disability and Caring
Almost six in every ten people (59.4%) stated that they had very good health in April 2016.  The numbers reporting themselves as having bad health increased from 57,243 to 62,697 while the numbers with very bad health also increased from 12,418 to 13,738.  Among those aged 60 to 79 there has been a small increase in the percentage with good or very good health (up from 72.5% to 73.8%).

The number of people with a disability increased by 47,796 to 643,131, and accounted for 13.5% of the population in April 2016.

Some 195,263 people (4.1% of the population) provided unpaid care in 2016, an increase of 8,151 on 2011.  As well as the growth in the number of carers, Census 2016 shows that the time spent caring is also on the increase, with 83,754 people providing care for up to 2 hours per day (up from 80,891), while 41,185 people provided care for more than 6 hours a day (up from 39,982). 

To view Census 2016 Summary Results - Part 2, visit the CSO website at

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 results of the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) provide the basis for the official series of quarterly labour force estimates.  The labour force and its constituent figures shown in the Summary Results Part 2 are directly based on the census.  The labour force comprises persons aged 15 and over who are employed, looking for a first job, or unemployed.  The percentage of people aged 15 and over who participate in the labour force - as opposed to having another status such as student, retired or homemaker - is known as the labour force participation rate.  It is measured as the number in the labour force (at work or unemployed) expressed as a percentage of the total population aged 15 and over.  Users should be aware that information derived from identical questions in the census and QNHS for the same year may show appreciable differences.  The main categories affected are the constituents of the question on principal economic status and the employment estimates classified by industry and occupation.  For further information, see Appendix 3 of the Summary Results. 
  • In Census 2016, industry is coded using NACE – the General Industrial Classification of Economic Activities within the European Communities, as shown in Appendix 5.  The industry in which a person is engaged is determined (regardless of their occupation) by the main economic activity carried out in the local unit in which he or she works.  If, however, the local unit provides an ancillary service to another unit in the business (e.g. administration, storage, etc.) then the persons in the ancillary unit are classified to the industry of the unit it services.  Thus, while the occupational classification is concerned only with the particular work performed by an individual regardless of the activity carried on at the local unit, the industrial classification is concerned only with the ultimate purpose of the unit or end product regardless of the precise nature of the work performed by each individual.  The term industry used for Census of Population purposes is not confined to manufacturing industry.  It is synonymous with the term “sector of economic activity”.  The basis of the industrial classification is, in the case of employees, the business or profession of their employer and in the case of self-employed persons, the nature of their own business or profession.
  • The Occupation classifications used in the census are based on the UK Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), with modifications to reflect Irish labour market conditions.  The latest version –   SOC2010, first used in Census 2011, is shown in Appendix 6.  The code to which a person’s occupation is classified is determined by the kind of work he or she performs in earning a living, irrespective of the place in which, or the purpose for which, it is performed.  The nature of the industry, business or service in which the person is working has no bearing upon the classification of the occupation.  For example, the occupation “clerk” covers clerks employed in manufacturing industries, commerce, banking, insurance, public administration, professions and other services, etc.. 
  • The entire population was classified to one of ten specific socio-economic groups (introduced in 1996).  In addition, a residual group entitled.  “All others gainfully occupied and unknown” was used where sufficient details were not provided.  The classification aims to bring together persons with similar social and economic statuses on the basis of the level of skill or educational attainment required.  In defining socio-economic group no attempt is made to rank groups in order of socio-economic importance.  The detailed classification used for determining the socio-economic group of all persons at work, unemployed or retired is given in Appendix 7.
  • The entire population is also classified into one of seven social class groups (introduced in 1996) which are defined on the basis of occupation.  The occupations included in each of these groups have been selected in such a way as to bring together, as far as possible, people with similar levels of occupational skill.  In determining social class no account is taken of the differences between individuals on the basis of other characteristics such as education. Accordingly social class ranks occupations by the level of skill required on a social class scale ranging from 1 (highest) to 7 (lowest).  This scale combines occupations into six groups by occupation and employment status following procedures similar to those for the allocation of socio-economic group.  A residual category “All others gainfully occupied and unknown” is used where no precise allocation is possible.  The detailed classification used for determining the social class group of all persons at work, unemployed or retired is given in Appendix 8.
  • Data on disability was derived from answers to Questions 16 and 17 of the census questionnaire.  Question 16 was a seven-part question that asked about the existence of a number of long lasting conditions.  If a person answered YES to any of the parts of Question 16, they were then asked to answer Question 17.  This question was a four-part question that asked whether an individual had a difficulty with activities such as dressing, bathing or getting around inside the home; going outside the home alone; working at a job or business or attending school/college; participating in other activities, such as leisure or using transport.  Individuals were classified as having a disability if they answered YES to any part of the two questions, including, in particular, if they ticked YES to any of the parts of Q17 even though they may not have ticked YES to any of the parts of Q16.
  • This is the second and final Summary Results publication.  The CSO will publish nine more thematic reports in the next six months, exploring the areas covered in the Summary Results Parts 1 and 2 in more detail, starting with Profile 3 - An Age Profile of Ireland on 6 July.  Further thematic reports will address themes such as: homeless persons; Irish Travellers, ethnicity and religion; education, skills and the Irish language.  The full release schedule is available at




For further information contact:

Brendan Murphy (+353) 1 895 1329 or Census Enquiries (+353) 1 895 1460

or email

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