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Average Age and Dependency

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Each County by single year of age

The following interactive graph shows the administrative counties and their populations by age. There are noticeable differences between the age pyramids of the cities versus the counties. Dublin, Cork and Galway City all appear similar; the main characteristic being the larger number of young adults aged 20 to 40 and the relatively smaller number of children. In contrast the more rural counties of Leitrim, Galway, Donegal and Roscommon also share similar features with fewer young adults and proportionally more older people. 

The impact of third level colleges on the population aged 18-22, is also strongly evident in the graphs of particular counties.

The age population pyramid of each county can be seen by clicking on the counties below:

Interactive table: StatBank Link E3003

Average age across the State

The average age of the population in 2016 was 37.4, up from 36.1 in 2011, a rise of 1.3 years. 

Figure 2.2 shows the average age of the population for each county and city administrative area. The highest average age at 40.2, was in Mayo and Kerry, while Fingal (34.3), Kildare (34.9), Meath (35.2) and South Dublin (35.5) had the lowest average age.

The average age increased in all counties since 2011. The areas with the smallest increase in average age since 2011 were Cork City and Dublin City, increasing by 0.4 and 0.6 years respectively.

20112016
Fingal32.934.3
Kildare33.534.9
Meath33.835.2
South Dublin34.135.5
Laois34.335.6
Galway City34.635.9
Louth35.236.4
Westmeath35.636.8
Carlow35.736.9
Cork County35.837.1
Offaly35.737.2
Wicklow35.737.2
Cavan3637.2
State36.137.4
Longford36.437.4
Monaghan36.437.4
Limerick City and County36.537.7
Dublin City37.337.9
Kilkenny36.637.9
Wexford36.538.1
Galway County36.838.1
Waterford City and County36.938.4
Clare36.938.5
Donegal36.738.5
Tipperary37.438.6
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown38.239
Cork City38.739.1
Sligo37.939.2
Roscommon38.439.7
Leitrim38.439.8
Kerry38.540.2
Mayo38.640.2

Map 2.1 Average age by Electoral Division, 2016

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Older female population  

When examined by gender the results show that the average age for women, at 38, was higher than that of men who had an average age of 36.7, giving an age gap of 1.3 years in 2016, the same as five years previously.

The difference in average age by sex is presented at a county level in Figure 2.3. The biggest difference was in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown where women were on average 2.4 years older than their males equivalents, down from 2.5 in 2011. In Cork City the gap fell from 2.3 years in 2011 to 1.8 years in 2016, while in Wicklow the gap fell from 1.3 years in 2011 to 1 year in 2016. 

20112016
Laois0.30.4
Cavan0.60.4
Leitrim0.70.7
Longford10.8
Meath0.80.8
Kildare0.90.9
Westmeath1.10.9
Clare0.80.9
Kerry10.9
Galway County0.80.9
Roscommon0.80.9
Carlow11
Offaly0.91
Wexford0.91
Wicklow1.31
Mayo1.11
Cork County11.1
Tipperary1.11.1
Waterford City and County1.21.1
Donegal1.11.1
Limerick City and County1.31.2
Kilkenny1.11.2
Louth1.31.2
Monaghan1.31.2
State1.31.3
Fingal1.11.3
Sligo1.61.4
South Dublin1.51.5
Galway City1.41.6
Dublin City1.91.8
Cork City2.31.8
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown2.52.4

Interactive table: StatBank Link E3012

Age dependency    

Dependents are defined for statistical purposes as people outside the normal working age of 15-64. Dependency ratios are used to give a useful indication of the age structure of a population with young (0-14) and old (65+) shown as a percentage of the population of working age (15-64).

The report, Census Summary Results - Part 1, described how the total dependency ratio increased from 49.3 per cent in 2011 to 52.7 per cent in 2016, a rise of 3.4 percentage points. There was a similar increase in the previous intercensal period of 3.5 percentage points from 45.8 per cent in 2006. 

Young dependency    

The young dependency ratio is the number of young people aged 0 -14 as a percentage of the population of working age as shown in Map 2.2. From 2011 to 2016, the number of children aged 0 to 14 increased by just 26,962.

Meath had the highest young dependency ratio at 39 per cent, followed by Laois and Longford at 38.3 and 37.2 respectively. At other end of the spectrum the cities, such as Cork City (20.4%), Dublin City (20.9%), Galway City (23.4%) and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (27.9%) all had the lowest young dependency ratios. 

Old dependency

While the number of people aged 15-64 increased by 44,477 since 2011, the number of those aged 65 and over rose by 102,174 - more than twice that amount.

Old dependency, shown in Map 2.3 stood at 20.4 per cent for the State, compared to 17.4 in 2011. There were substantial differences at county level. In 2016, the top two counties with the highest old dependency ratios were Mayo (28.3) and Leitrim (27.4). The counties with the lowest old dependency ratios were Fingal (13.8) and Kildare (15). These four counties were both the top and bottom also in 2011.

Interactive table: StatBank Link E3013

To view a map for the 'Map 2.4 - Dependency by Electoral Division, 2016' Click Here