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Italian Nationals: 11,732

There were 11,732 Italian nationals usually resident in Ireland in April 2016 which was an increase of 53 per cent between 2011 and 2016.

Table 9.1 Population Usually Resident by Nationality and Census Year

Place of Residence

6,834 Italian nationals were living in Dublin city and its suburbs in April 2016, accounting for 58 per cent of the Italian population. As seen in the map, Figure 9.1, the majority of the darker green areas are seen in and around county Dublin, with higher concentrations in the city centre (as seen in pink).

Figure 9.1 - Proportion of Italian Nationals Usually Resident in Ireland by Electoral Division, 2016

Age and Sex

Table 9.2 Population Usually Resident in the State by Nationality, Average Age, and Census Year

The average age of Italian nationals in April 2016 was 34.5 years, no change from 2011. While the average age of the Italian population was younger than the average age of the State population by 2.8 years, it was closest in age to the State population of all ten nationalities profiled.

The age breakdown of the Italian and State populations can be seen by clicking an option below:

80 per cent of the Italian population was aged 20 years to 49 years old in 2016, comparably, 42 per cent of the State population was in the same age bracket.

Economic Status 

It's a Fact

  • The Italian population had the greatest proportion of persons aged 15 years and over who were at work, at 79 per cent. Comparably, 53 per cent of the State population was at work.
Unable to work, retired or other economic statusStudent or pupilLooking after home/familyUnemployed Persons at work

There were 10,836 Italian nationals aged 15 years and over usually resident in Ireland in April 2016.  The majority of them were at work (8,545 persons). 

84 per cent of Italian males were at work (5,006 persons), 11 percentage points higher than Italian females (73%, 3,539 persons).

Industry and Occupation

1,597 Italian persons were at work in the accommodation and food services industry (19%) in April 2016, the most Italian nationals in any one industrial group, and over three times the proportion of the State population in the same industry (6%). A further 1,515 Italian nationals were at work in the information and communication industry (18%), a prominent industry among many of the nationalities profiled, in particular Spanish, French, German, and UK nationals. The proportion of Italian nationals at work in this industry grew by 3 per cent between 2011 (15%) and 2016 (18%). 

Table 9.3 Population Aged 15 Years and Over, at Work, by Nationality, Broad Industrial Group, and Census Year
 Italian 2011Italian 2016State 2016
At Work5,3188,5451,970,728
Accommodation and food service activities21%19%6%
Information and communication activities15%18%4%
Financial and insurance activities13%10%5%

Like the Spanish population in Ireland, programmers and software developers were common occupations among Italians within the information and communication industry. While chefs and catering assistants were common within the hospitality services industry.  

It's a Fact

  • 3 per cent of all persons in the State at work in customer service occupations were Italian nationals


Three quarters of the Italian population aged 15 years and over had ceased education by April 2016, only German and UK populations had a greater proportion of persons who were finished full-time education. 

Between 2011 and 2016 the proportion of Italian nationals with a postgraduate degree increased by 4 percentage points, and the proportion with a third level degree also increased (by 1%). In both cases the percentages were higher than for the State population. Social science, business and law were the most popular subjects among Italian nationals, over one third of Italians with at least a third level degree indicated this was their main field of study (36%). 

Postgraduate degreeThird level degree/professional qualification or bothUpper secondary, technical, vocationalLower secondary, primary, no formal education, not stated
Italian - 20111752265215081175
Italian - 20163132408220881534
State - 2016336913101548110322311302960