The total number of usually resident Irish Travellers enumerated in April 2016 was 30,987 representing 0.7 per cent of the general population. This figure was an increase of 5.1 per cent on the 2011 figure of 29,495. (Note: all analysis is based on the usually resident population. The corresponding De Facto figures in 2016 and 2011 were 31,075 and 29,573 respectively).
The population pyramid below highlights how the structure of the Irish Traveller population is very different to that of the general population, with a broad base at the younger ages and reducing sharply at higher ages. Nearly 6 in 10 (58.1%) Irish Travellers were under 25 years of age (0-24) compared to just over 3 in 10 (33.4%) in the general population.
There were 451 Irish traveller males aged 65 or over representing just 2.9 per cent of the total, significantly lower than the general population (12.6%); the equivalent figures for females were 481 persons which represented just 3.1 per cent of the total, compared with 14.1 per cent for the general population.
|0||Female Irish Traveller||Male Irish Traveller|
|80 years and over||0.232355503920999||-0.17749378771743|
Interactive table: StatBank Link E8001
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There were significant differences in the size of the Irish Traveller community across the administrative counties.
As in 2011, Galway county had the highest number of Travellers with 2,647 persons, an increase of 6.7 per cent on the 2011 figure 2,481. This was followed by South Dublin with 2,208 persons, down 1.5 per cent on 2011.
Travellers were more urbanised than the general population with nearly 8 in 10 (78.6%) living in cities or towns (1,500 or more), compared with 62.4 per cent of the total population.
Dublin city and suburbs had the largest number of Irish Travellers with 5,089 persons. This was followed by Galway city and suburbs with 1,598 persons and Cork city and suburbs with 1,222.
Of the towns with 1,500 or more persons, Tuam had the highest number of Irish Travellers with 737 persons, followed by Longford with 730 persons.
Navan, Mullingar, Dundalk and Ballinasloe all had 500 or more Irish Travellers in 2016.
|Table 1.1 Top 15 towns (1,500+ persons)/cities by usually resident Irish Traveller population, 2016|
|City/Town||Number of Irish Travellers|
|Dublin City and suburbs||5,089|
|Galway City and suburbs||1,598|
|Cork City and suburbs||1,222|
|Navan (An Uaimh)||668|
|Limerick City and suburbs||501|
|Waterford City and suburbs||367|
|Total Population||Irish Travellers|
Interactive table: StatBank Link E8002
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Figure 1.3 presents marital status by age. Among the general population 5.8 per cent of 15-29 year olds were married, compared with 3 in 10 (31.9%) of the Irish Traveller population. There were 201 married 15-19 year olds, down from 250 in 2011.
The divorce rate among Irish travellers was 2.2 per cent, compared with 4.7 per cent for the general population. The percentage of Irish travellers who were separated had fallen in 2016 to 10.4 per cent, down from 12.1 per cent in 2011.
|Age group||Total married population||Total married Irish Travellers|
Nationally there was a 12.3 per cent increase in the number of Irish Traveller households (defined as households containing at least one Irish Traveller), rising from 7,765 in 2011 to 8,717 in 2016.
Of these 7,424 were classified as family households representing (85.2%) compared with 70.2 per cent of the general population.
Figure 1.4 illustrates other differences between Irish Traveller households and the general population. There were more than 3 times as many multiple family Traveller households (4.2% compared with 1.3%), more lone parents with children (17.9% compared with 11.7%) and fewer married couples without children (8.9% compared with 15.7%). Just over 1 in 10 (11%) Irish Travellers were living in one person households compared with almost 1 in 4 (23.5%) in the general population.
|Household||% General Population||% Irish Travellers|
|Married couple with children||32.691140382576||43.9371343352071|
|Cohabiting couple with children||4.30604662807368||8.14500401514282|
|Lone parents with children||11.7||17.9190088333142|
Irish traveller households comprising of a married couple with children had an average of 5.3 persons per household compared with 4.1 for the general population.
Figure 1.5 illustrates how there are proportionally fewer one and two person Irish Traveller households compared with the general population. More than 1 in 4 Irish Traveller households had 6 or more persons compared with less than 1 in 20 households in the State overall.
|Household Size||General population||Irish Traveller|
Interactive table: StatBank Link E8047
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Among Traveller women aged 40-49 (the age by which women have typically completed their fertility) 13.3 per cent had not given birth to a child - compared with 18.3 per cent of women generally. Nearly half had given birth to 5 or more children, in stark contrast to just under 1 in 20 (4.2%) of women overall in this age group.
|Number of children||General population||Irish Travellers|
|9 or more children||0.155827935324043||7.80550223928343|
Interactive table: StatBank Link E8044
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