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Household Size and Marital Status

Household Size and Marital Status

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.

The number of people completing their census form in each household builds an overall picture on the average size of households at national and county level. Marital status describes a person's relationship status at the time of the census.

Time Capsule

The Census 2022 time capsule was introduced to give people completing their census form an opportunity to record a message for future generations. The time capsules will be stored securely for 100 years and released to the public in 2122.

  • Of the 1.8 million occupied private households enumerated during Census 2022, 348,443 (19%) completed the time capsule.

  • Cork (county and city combined) returned the largest number of Census forms with a completed time capsule (41,669), followed by Dublin City (40,857).

  • The completion rate by county ranged from 16% to 21%.

  • At 21%, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest completion rate followed by Wicklow, Kildare, Mayo and Leitrim (20%).

Household Size

Census data allows us to plot the changing size of the average household in Ireland over time, which can be a reflection of a wide range of social dynamics. The average household size is the number of people in private dwellings as a proportion of the number of occupied dwellings. 

  • Census 2022 recorded 1,841,152 private occupied dwellings and 5,046,681 people in private households.

  • In 2022, there were on average 2.74 people per private household.

  • This is a small decrease compared with the 2016 average, which stood at 2.75.

  • In 2011, there were on average 2.73 people per private household.

  • Between 2016 and 2022, Galway City recorded the largest increase in average household size (2.58 to 2.62), followed by Laois which increased from 2.87 to 2.90.

  • Westmeath, Carlow, Longford recorded small increases in average household size between 2016 and 2022.

  • During the census period 2016 to 2022, there was no change in average household size in Dublin City, Leitrim, Roscommon, Limerick, Cavan, Galway County and Offaly.

  • All other administrative counties recorded decreases in average household size during the census period 2016 to 2022.

  • Kerry, Donegal, South Dublin and Kildare recorded the largest decreases in average household size between 2016 and 2022.

  • Average household size ranged from 2.48 people in Dublin City to 3.02 people in Fingal and Meath.

  • In general, higher average sizes were recorded in the east of the country with lower sizes in the west.

Map 2.1 Average number of persons per private household by county and city, 2011 to 2022
Table 2.1 Private households and persons in private households by county and city, 2011 to 2022

Marital Status

The marital status question gives us an understanding of the number of people who were single, in marriages or partnerships, separated, divorced or widowed.

  • The percentage of people aged 15 years and over who were single increased from 41% in 2016 to 43% in 2022.

  • Married people, including those who were re-married, and people in a same-sex civil partnership, accounted for 46% of the population aged 15 years and over, down from 48% six years previously.

  • The percentage of people who were separated or divorced remained stable at 6%.

  • Of all people aged 15 years and over, 44% were in their first marriage, this was down from 46% in 2016.

  • While the number of widowed people increased by 13,856 to 210,083 since 2016, the percentage of the population they represented was unchanged at 5%.
Table 2.2 Population aged 15 years and over and percentage change since the previous census by marital status, 2022

Marital Status by Sex

Key differences in marital status among males and females.

  • Among single people, there were more men (52%) than women (48%).

  • The number of men who were remarried (41,449) was greater than the number of women (33,115) with the same marital status.

  • In 2022, the number of women separated increased by 507 to 67,070.

  • Approximately 4% of women aged 15 and over were divorced.

Figure 2.1 Population aged 15 years and over by detailed marital status and sex, 2022
Table 2.3 Population aged 15 years and over by detailed marital status and sex, 2011 to 2022

Marital Status by County

There can be interesting differences in people's marital status when examined county by county.

  • When examined at administrative county level, Galway and Dublin cities recorded the highest proportion of single people, both at 55%.
  • The two cities also had the lowest proportion of married people, 36% of those aged 15 and over in Galway and 35% in Dublin.
  • At just over 7% each, Wexford and Longford recorded the highest percentage of divorced and separated people.
  • Leitrim (6%) and Mayo (6%) had the highest percentage of widowed people, reflecting the age profile of these counties.
Map 2.2 Percentage of population aged 15 years and over by marital status and administrative county, 2022