Newly digitised tables from the Census of Ireland 1911 identified Meath as the wealthiest county at that time with a valuation per person of £8 10s 2d (£8.51) (See Table 2.1).
The poorest county was Mayo with a valuation per person of £1 13s 7d (£1.68) (See Table 2.1).
Culmullin in Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath was the District Electoral Division (DED) with the highest valuation per person of £20 19s 5d (£20.97) (See Table 2.2).
Annagary in Glenties, Donegal was the DED with the lowest valuation per person of 4s 7d (£0.23) (See Table 2.3).
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (11 April 2023) issued Stories from Census 1911: Wealth and Poverty.
Commenting on the publication, Eimear Crowley, CSO Statistician, said: “The CSO has today published data from the Census of Ireland, 1911. Table VI from The Census of Ireland, 1911 is now available on the CSO’s PxStat database. There are many stories hidden in this data and this release looks at valuation per person as an indicator of wealth in 1911. This data could also be used to look at population density, construction levels, and other demographic change factors.
Today’s release is part of the CSO’s Historical Statistics Recovery (HSR) initiative which began in 2022 and aims to recover and make high value statistics contained in Irish historical statistical publications accessible to all. This initiative is driven by volunteers within the CSO who are committed to ensuring this valuable information will be made available to all over time. Making the data available online allows historical statistics to be preserved in an electronic format as well as aiding the discovery of new insights into our past.
The Census of Ireland, 1911 is the first publication in this initiative where a selection of tables has been digitised. We were able to use population and valuation statistics published in The Census of Ireland, 1911 to gain insights into wealth and poverty in the country at that time. It was notable that poverty along the western seaboard was more acute when compared with the rest of the country, and particularly, when compared with counties in Leinster.
When looking at wealth and poverty in Ireland in 1911 it was found that nine of the top ten wealthiest counties in 1911 were in Leinster and seven of the ten poorest counties were towards the West of the country. Eight of the top twenty wealthiest District Electoral Divisions (DEDs) were in Meath alone, while eight of the twenty poorest DEDs were in Donegal.
Table VI, which this release is based on, provides statistics for different geographical divisions by area in 1911, by housing, and population in 1891, 1901, and 1911 along with general valuation of land and buildings in 1911. This table provides data for all counties, urban/rural districts, and DEDs. The interactive online statistical tables can be accessed on PxStat.
In developing this release the CSO have worked with colleagues in the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) who are responsible for the Census in Northern Ireland.
The release also provides information for anyone who wants to create their own customised data tables or investigate the 1911 census forms for themselves. A video on how to search the data tables is available to help you find your story from 1911."
This release marks the publication on PxStat of the first detailed statistical table from Census of Ireland, 1911 – Table VI. The table explores Area, Housing, Population and Valuations down to District Electoral Division (DED) level. The Census reports used the valuations (land and buildings) which were maintained by the Valuation office for tax purposes – they were not collected on the Census form. More information on valuations can be found in the Background Notes.
The story selected for this release is the distribution of wealth across Ireland in 1911. An indicator of wealth for a geographical area, valuation per person, was obtained by dividing the valuation for the area by the population in the area.
The release strives to remain true to the original publication in as far as possible. For example, place names and monetary denominations from the original publication were retained, with occasional decimalisation of pounds, shillings, and pennies for ease of reading. Internal inconsistencies in the original data tables are also retained rather than corrected.
In developing this release the CSO have worked with colleagues in the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) who are responsible for the Census in Northern Ireland. The Census of Ireland, 1911 was conducted throughout the Island of Ireland.
Ireland in 1911 was very different to Ireland today. To find out more about what Ireland was like then see Life in 1916 Ireland.
The interactive online statistical tables can be accessed on PxStat.
The original Census reports from 1911 have been scanned (with text indexed) and available to download.
This release is part of the Historical Statistics Recovery (HSR) initiative which commenced in 2022. The HSR aims to bring back to life the valuable statistical information hidden away in historical publications. Publishing these statistics on the CSO online database PxStat will make them easily accessible for everyone.