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Religion

Religion

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.

In Census 2022, over 3.5 million people living in the State reported that their religion was Roman Catholic, accounting for 69% of the population.

  • The number of people who reported having no religion increased to 736,210, over 14% of the population. This was an increase of 63% since the 2016 census, and of 187% since the 2011 census. There were a further 3,823 people who reported that they were Agnostic or Atheist.

  • The second largest religious grouping was Church of Ireland or England, Anglican and Episcopalian which accounted for 124,749 people, an increase of 2% since 2016.

  • The Orthodox (Greek, Coptic, Russian) grouping accounted for over 100,000 people, an increase of 65% in six years and of 128% in the 11 years since Census 2011.

Table 5.1 Population usually resident and present in the State by religion, 2011 to 2022
187%
the increase in the number of people with no religion
in Census 2022 compared with 2011
Source: CSO Ireland, Census 2022 Profile 5 - Diversity, Migration, Ethnicity, Irish Travellers & Religion

Religion by Age

The age breakdown of the population varied across different religious groupings.

  • Among pre-school aged children (0 to 4 years), 65% were Roman Catholic, 16% had no religion and 3% were Muslim. 

  • In the 5 to 9 years age cohort, 72% of children were Roman Catholic, 11% had no religion, 3% were Muslim and 3% were in the Church of Ireland or England, Anglican and Episcopalian grouping.

  • People aged 25 to 29 years were less likely to be Roman Catholic (53%) than other age groups. This was also the age cohort with the highest proportion of people with no religion (26%) and the highest proportion of Hindus (over 2%).

  • The proportion of the population who were in the Orthodox (Greek, Coptic, Russian) grouping was 2% overall, and more than half were aged between 25 and 49 years.

Figure 5.1 Population usually resident and present in the State by sex, age group and religion, 2022

The number of Roman Catholics aged 45 years and over increased by 7% between the 2016 and 2022 censuses, whereas the overall population in this age cohort increased by 18%.

  • The number of Roman Catholics aged 10 to 24 years was unchanged whereas the population in this age group increased by 14%.

  • There was a drop of 21% in the number of Roman Catholics under the age of 10, despite the population in this cohort only decreasing by 8%.

  • While the total population increased by 1% among 25 to 44 year olds, the number of Roman Catholics in this age group fell by 17%.

  • The number of people with no religion increased across all age cohorts. There were over 100,000 more people aged 45 or over with no religion, an 88% increase since 2016.

  • The number of children aged 0 to 9 years with no religion increased by nearly 60% to over 82,000.

Figure 5.2 Population usually resident and present in the State who were Roman Catholic or had no religion by age group, 2016 to 2022
Table 5.2 Population usually resident and present in the State by religion and age group, 2011 to 2022

Religion and Citizenship

The religious breakdown of the population varied widely by country of citizenship.

  • In total, 77% of Irish citizens identified as Roman Catholic and 13% identified as having no religion.

  • The proportion of Polish citizens who were Roman Catholic was relatively high as well at 70%, with a further 15% having no religion.

  • Over 41% of UK citizens had no religion, while 26% were Roman Catholic and 14% were in the grouping of Church of Ireland or England, Anglican and Episcopalian.

  • Almost half of Indian citizens were Hindu and just under a quarter were Roman Catholic.

  • Nearly two-thirds of Romanian citizens reported their religion as Orthodox (Greek, Coptic, Russian).

Figure 5.3 Population usually resident and present in the State by religion and citizenship, 2022
Table 5.3 Population usually resident and present in the State by sex, citizenship and religion, 2022