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Key Findings

Home ownership rates in Census 2022 fell while the total number of households renting rose to over 500,000

CSO statistical publication, , 11am
Census Results 2022 Branding
Census 2022 Results

This publication is part of a series of results from Census 2022. More thematic publications will be published throughout 2023 as outlined in the Census 2022 Publication Schedule.

Key Findings

  • The housing stock increased by more than 5% to 2,112,121 between April 2016 and April 2022.

  • The number of occupied dwellings increased by 8% to 1.85 million while the number of vacant dwellings fell by 11% to 163,433.

  • The number of dwellings owned without a mortgage or loan increased by 11% to nearly 680,000 while the number owned with a mortgage or loan fell by 1%.

  • There was a significant increase in the number of households headed by someone aged 65 and over renting from a private landlord to almost 17,000 households, up 83% since 2016.

  • The average weekly rent in private rental accommodation increased by 37% between 2016 and 2022.

  • The number of homes in the country with solar panels was 119,300 or 6% of occupied dwellings.

  • One in five households headed by someone aged 65 or over had no internet connection of any kind.

  • Just under 48,000 homes that were vacant in the 2016 census were also vacant in the 2022 census.

Statistician's Comment

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (27 July 2023) released Census 2022 Profile 2 Housing in Ireland. This is the second in a series of eight thematic profiles which will provide detailed results on specific areas of Census 2022. Today’s publication presents a comprehensive picture of the housing landscape in Ireland in April 2022.

Commenting on the results, Brendan Murphy, Statistician in the Census Division, said:

“Profile 2 expands on the information provided in the Dwelling Characteristics chapter of the Summary Results released in May, but also includes important data on Ireland's housing stock and vacancy rate in 2022. Dwellings are analysed by number of rooms and bedrooms which gives insight into relative measures of crowding in each county. We have also produced additional results based on two of the new questions asked in Census 2022 relating to smoke alarms and renewable energy sources. Profile 2 provides more detailed information on tenure by age of the householder and county.

Housing Stock

Census 2022 results show that the housing stock increased in each county since 2016, with the fastest growth recorded in Meath and Kildare (over 11%) and the slowest in Tipperary (2%). In counties such as Tipperary, Donegal and Leitrim, the number of occupied dwellings increased at more than twice the rate of the housing stock.

At State level, the population growth rate was higher than that of the housing stock, 8% compared with 5%, respectively. This trend started in Census 2016, reversing the pattern seen in the 20 years from 1991 to 2011 when the number of homes went up by more than 70% while the population grew by 30%.  

Occupied Dwellings

In South Dublin, Kildare and Meath, the number of occupied dwellings built between 2016 and 2022 was more than three times higher than the total number of occupied dwellings built between 2011 and 2015. Fingal had the largest absolute difference in the number of dwellings built in the six years between 2016 and 2022 (9,653) compared with the 2011 to 2015 period (3,616).

More than 655,000 dwellings had three bedrooms, accounting for over a third (36%) of the occupied housing stock in Ireland. The administrative county with the highest proportion of three bedroom properties was South Dublin while County Galway had the largest proportion of four bedroom dwellings.

In Census 2022, there were 58,869 occupied dwellings with an average of more than one person per room and 9,271 households with an average of more than two persons per room.

Households headed by a person aged 35 to 39 were the most likely to have more than one person per room. In terms of central heating, natural gas was more prevalent for dwellings where the householder was aged 40 to 44, electricity in those headed by someone aged 25 to 29 and oil for households where the head of household was 65 years and over.

New questions from Census 2022 revealed there was no working smoke alarm in nearly 72,000 occupied dwellings, 4% of the occupied housing stock, with detached houses more likely than any other dwelling type not to have a working smoke alarm. About 25% of the occupied homes in Ireland used renewable energy sources, with wood being the most common one. More than 6% of all households reported using solar panels, with Meath having the highest proportion.

Of the 1.8 million occupied dwellings, 1.5 million or 83% had an internet connection. Mobile phones were the most common type of device used to connect to the internet within households.   

Home Ownership and Rent

Census 2022 results show that the number of homes owned with a mortgage or loan dropped marginally while the overall number of households renting their accommodation from private landlords, local authorities, and voluntary bodies surpassed the 500,000 mark. Counties Donegal and Tipperary recorded the largest reduction in the number of properties owned with a mortgage or loan. In Carlow and Waterford, the number of dwellings rented from a private landlord went up by 15%, the highest increase of all counties.

Between 2016 and 2022, there was an 83% increase in the number of households headed by a person aged 65 and over renting from a private landlord. The age at which at least two-thirds of householders owned their homes (with or without a loan) was 44, slightly later in life than in the previous census. In the three decades since Census 1991, the age at which more than half of householders owned their home (with or without a mortgage or loan) increased from 26 to 36 years.

Average weekly rent in private rental accommodation saw a 37% increase on the 2016 figure to €273. The fastest growth was recorded in Longford, at 51%, but the highest average weekly rent paid was in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, at €442 per week.

Vacant Dwellings

The number of vacant dwellings counted in Census 2022 fell by 11% since 2016. However, it is important to remember that this is a point in time measure as these dwellings were classed as vacant on Census Night, 03 April 2022. (For details on the definitions of vacancy used for the census, please see Census 2022 and Vacant Dwellings FAQ.) The 163,433 vacant properties include short term vacancy (dwellings for sale, for rent, renovation, owner in nursing home, for example).

The vacancy rate dropped fastest in Waterford where the number of properties unoccupied on Census Night was down 25% from six years previously. Galway City had the highest proportion of vacant rental properties in the most recent census (35%). Overall, rental accommodation made up just over 20% of the vacant dwellings identified in Census 2022.

Looking at potential long-term vacancy, there were nearly 48,000 homes that were vacant in both the 2016 and 2022 censuses and 23,072 in all three censuses, 2011, 2016 and 2022. 


The publication of Census 2022 results could not have been achieved without the overwhelmingly positive response from the public and we thank everyone who completed their census form on 03 April 2022. We would also like to thank everyone involved in the Census 2022 campaign culminating in today’s successful publication of the results.”

For more commentary on the Census 2022 Profile 2 Housing in Ireland results, please see the Press Release.