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UK Nationals: 103,113

There were 103,113 UK nationals usually resident in Ireland in April 2016. The number of UK nationals living in Ireland decreased by 8 per cent between 2011 and 2016. This was the greatest percentage decrease in population size among the top ten nationalities profiled.

Table 3.1 Population Usually Resident by Nationality and Census Year

Place of Residence

In 2016, UK nationals living in Ireland were more likely to be living in small towns and rural areas than in cities. Half of all UK nationals were living in rural Ireland (51,500 persons), comparably, 37 per cent of the total population of the State was living in rural Ireland. Dark green and yellow coloured areas in Figure 3.1 indicate at least 100 UK nationals were living in the Electoral Divisions, while there was a high concentration of these areas around county Dublin, there was a noticeable spread throughout the country, more so than any of the other nationalities profiled.

Figure 3.1 Proportion of UK Population Usually Resident in Ireland by Electoral Division, 2016

Towns with Highest Proportional Make-Up of UK Nationals

The top three towns with the highest proportion of UK nationals living in them were in the South-West of Ireland, in counties Kerry and Cork.

Table 3.2 Population Usually Resident in the State by Town, Nationality, and Statistic, 2016
 Town populationUK population% UK
Killorglin, Kerry2,2011426%
Skibbereen, Cork2,7441636%
Kenmare, Kerry2,2061306%
Ballaghaderreen, Roscommon1,8201005%
Dunmore East, Waterford1,687875%

Age and Sex

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

In April 2016, the UK population living in Ireland was majority male (51%).

It's a Fact

  • 75 per cent of the UK population was over the age of 34 compared with 52 per cent of the State

The average age of UK nationals living in Ireland increased by 7.5 years between 2006 (39.2 years old) and 2016 (46.7 years old). Furthermore, the average age of the UK population living in Ireland was both the oldest of all nationalities profiled (by 6.2 years) and was the furthest from the average age of the State population - the average age of UK nationals was 9.4 years older than the State population.

Table 3.3 Population Usually Resident in the State by Nationality, Average Age, and Census Year

It's a Fact

  • Between 2011 and 2016 the average age of the UK population in Ireland increased by 4.1 years, the fastest ageing population of all nationalities profiled

Economic Status 

There were 96,721 UK nationals aged 15 years and over living in Ireland in April 2016. There was a greater proportion of UK nationals who were retired (19%) compared with the State (14%).

Unable to work or other economic statusLooking after home/familyStudent or pupilRetiredUnemployedPersons at work

Industry and Occupation

Table 3.4 Population Aged 15 Years and Over, at Work, by Nationality, Sex, and Broad Occupational Group, 2016
Female top occupations              Male top occupations
 UKState  UKState
At Work20,225913,163 At Work27,8661,057,565
Professional20%23% Professional20%15%
Administrative & Secretarial16%18% Skilled Trades18%24%
Caring, Leisure, and Other Services15%14%Associate Professional16%13%

The UK population in Ireland broadly mirrored the State population in terms of occupational distribution. However, there were notable occupational differences apparent between UK males and the State's male population.

20 per cent of UK males at work were in professional occupations in April 2016 (5,593 males), 5 percentage points higher than all males in the State (15%). The most common professional occupations among British males were IT related – programmers (560) and IT specialists (347), higher education was also prevalent (388).

UK females at work generally reflected the female population in the State in relation to occupational and industrial groups. The most common broad groups for UK females at work are shown in tables 3.4 and 3.5. Carers, nurses, and midwives were prevalent occupations among UK females, accounting for 10 per cent of all UK females at work.

Table 3.5 Female Population Aged 15 Years and Over, at Work, by Nationality and Broad Industrial Group, 2016
Human health and social work21%19%
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and cycles15%14%

Marital Status

UK nationals aged 15 years and over were the least likely to be single of all nationalities profiled. 29,702 UK nationals living in Ireland were single in 2016 (31%), compared with 41 per cent of the State population. They were also the most likely to be re-married. 7,920 UK nationals were re-married accounting for 8 per cent of UK nationals aged 15 years and over.

WidowedDivorcedSeparatedRe-MarriedMarried (first and same-sex marriages)Single

It's a Fact

  • 14 per cent of all re-married persons in the State were UK nationals in 2016
  • 41 per cent of all UK nationals aged 15 years and over had an Irish partner in 2016


62 per cent of UK headed households owned their home. Of the 10 nationalities profiled, households headed by UK nationals were the only nationality to be majority home owners.

UK - 201112601769831548
UK - 201618211645630176
State - 2016804424696711147552

Detached houses were most popular among UK nationals in April 2016. 51 per cent of households headed by a UK national lived in a detached house, a reflection of the high proportion of UK nationals living in rural areas.

Table 3.6: Private Households in Permanent Housing Units 2016 by Nationality of Reference Person and Dwelling type
 UK State
Detached house51%42%
Semi-detached house24%28%
Terraced house13%17%
Flat, Apartment, Bed-sit, or not stated12%13%

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