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Regional Population Projections 2017 - 2036

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This report provides population projections for the 8 NUTS3 Regional Authority Areas classified by age and sex for the period 2017 - 2036.  The Census 2016 ‘usually resident’ population (4,739,597 persons) provides the base population for these projections.   Table 1.1 and figure 1.1 show how the population of each region has evolved over the period 2011 – 2016.  Since 2011, all regions have shown some level of population growth.  The Dublin and Mid-East regions have seen the largest population increases of 74,400 (5.9%) and 33,500 (5.1%) persons from 2011 to 2016.  The Border region has seen the smallest increase of 1,400 persons (0.4%) over the same period.

Show Table: Table 1.1 Actual population of Regional Authority areas, 2011 - 2016

BorderDublinMid-EastMidlandMid-WestSouth-EastSouth-WestWest
2011391.91261.5657.4283.8466.8410.3662.3440.8
2012392.11260.6664.7287.2470.6411.6667.4439.4
2013393.11265.9666.4289.3470.7413.7673.8441.7
20143921286.4671.4289.8471.8413.5679.5441.1
2015391.91315.3679.3291.1473.4415.6678.9442.2
2016393.31335.9690.9293.4472.5421.2685447.5
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The model used for these projections is similar to that used in previous regional projection exercises, namely the demographic component method (see Appendix 1) which projects the 2016 usually resident NUTS3 population forward under the chosen demographic assumptions.  The regional population projections contained in this release represent a top-down disaggregation of the national projections published in June 2018. The assumptions used in the national model (fertility, mortality and international migration) are regionalised mainly based on recent historical data. In addition, internal migration between regions is also assessed for the regional projections. The outcome of this procedure is a set of regional population projections based on what would be likely to happen if recent trends in fertility, mortality, international and internal migration were to continue, subject to the overall constraint of the national population projections. 

Of the six scenarios in the national projections only M1F2, M2F2 and M3F2 are considered for the regional projections. For the purpose of the regional projections these three scenarios have been combined with two internal migration assumptions.  These two internal migration assumptions reflect contrasting internal migration patterns, namely ‘Dublin inflow’ and ‘Dublin outflow’ internal migration.  

The combination of these assumptions result in the following six variant projections for the regional data:

  • M1F2 for the ‘‘Dublin Outflow’ internal migration scenario
  • M1F2 for the ‘‘Dublin Inflow’ internal migration scenario
  • M2F2 for the ‘‘Dublin Outflow’ internal migration scenario
  • M2F2 for the ‘‘Dublin Inflow’ internal migration scenario
  • M3F2 for the ‘‘Dublin Outflow’ internal migration scenario
  • M3F2 for the ‘‘Dublin Inflow’ internal migration scenario

The assumptions are summarised in the table below and detailed in the remaining sections of this chapter.

 

 Summary of Assumptions 

F2 Fertility: Total fertility rate to decrease from 1.8 in 2016 to 1.6 by 2031 and to remain constant thereafter to 2036

Mortality: Mortality rates for males and females are assumed to improve at 2.5% and 2.0% per annum respectively to 2036 resulting in gains in life expectancy from:

- 79.3 years in 2015 to 83.6 years in 2036 for males
- 83.3 years in 2015 to 86.5 years in 2036 for females

Internal Migration

Dublin Outflow: 2016 internal migration flows of -4,400 per annum from Dublin to other regions reverting to the 2006 pattern of -10,200 outflows from Dublin annually by 2021 and remaining constant thereafter

Dublin Inflow: 2016 internal migration flows of -4,400  per annum from Dublin reverting to the traditional pattern of +2,100 inflows from other regions to Dublin per annum by 2021 and remaining constant thereafter.

International Migration

M1 International Migration: High net migration of +30,000 per annum to 2036

M2 International Migration: Medium net migration of +20,000 per annum to 2036. This assumption reflects average net migration over the 20 year period 1997-2016

M3 International Migration: Low net migration of +10,000 per annum to 2036

These assumptions were agreed by an Expert Group (see membership in Appendix 3) which met during the period November 2018 to March 2019.  The rationale underpinning the assumptions agreed by the Expert Group are outlined in the remainder of this chapter.

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The national population projections distinguished two fertility assumptions as follows:

  • F1: TFR (Total Fertility Rate) to remain at its 2016 level of  1.8 for the lifetime of the projections;
  • F2: TFR (Total Fertility Rate) to decrease from its 2016 level of 1.8 to 1.6 by 2031 and remain constant thereafter.

The Expert Group noted that:

  • Births have declined steadily from the recent peak of 75,550 recorded in 2009, with fewer than 64,000 births recorded in 2016. See fig 1.2
  • The Expert Group also noted that the age at which women are having their first child is rising year on year and that this would impact on future fertility rates if the trend were to continue. See fig 1.3
  • Ireland's total fertility rate has been in decline since 2011

Therefore the Expert Group felt that only F2 fertility should be considered for the Regional Projections release. 

Years
196060.7
196159.8
196261.8
196363.2
196464.1
196563.5
196662.2
196761.3
196861
196962.9
197064.4
197167.6
197268.5
197368.7
197468.9
197567.2
197667.7
197768.9
197870.3
197972.5
198074.1
198172.2
198270.8
198367.1
198464.1
198562.4
198661.6
198758.4
198854.6
198952
199053
199152.7
199251.1
199349.3
199448.3
199548.8
199650.7
199752.8
199854
199953.9
200054.8
200157.9
200260.5
200361.5
200462
200561.4
200665.4
200771.4
200875.2
200975.6
201075.2
201174
201271.7
201369
201467.3
201565.9
201663.9

The age specific fertility rates for each region in 2016 were used as the starting point. The projection model reflects not only the overall fall in total fertility to 1.6 by 2031, but also incorporates the different fertility levels across the regions and projects these into the future. For example, the regional fertility rates in 2016 varied from a high of 1.98 in the Border and Midland regions to a low of 1.65 in the Dublin region; this differential in rates of change was maintained in the projected regional fertility rates between 2016 and 2036, while being constrained by the projected total fertility rate for the State for any given year. See table 1.2.

Show Table: Table 1.2 Total fertility rates for Regional Authority areas, 2011 - 2036

Within marriageOutside of marriage
197525.321.8
197625.421.7
197725.621.8
197825.621.6
197925.621.5
198025.621.5
198125.721.4
19822621.4
198326.221.4
198426.521.6
198527.221.8
198627.422
198727.721.9
19882822.1
198928.121.9
199028.321.9
199128.421.9
199228.722.1
199329.122.3
199429.422.4
199529.722.7
199629.922.9
199730.123.1
199830.323.2
199930.623.3
200030.623.6
200130.723.9
200230.724.2
20033124.6
200431.224.9
200531.425.1
200631.425.3
200731.325.6
200831.325.8
200931.426.2
201031.626.6
20113227
201232.127.3
201332.427.7
201432.728
201532.828.1
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While consideration was given to examining the use of Regional Life Tables for this exercise it was decided to use the national mortality assumption across the regions given the relatively small number of deaths in some regions, combined with the relatively small impact of regional differentials in the number of deaths.

 Mortality Assumption 

At national level the assumptions are that mortality rates will improve (by 2.5% per annum for men and 2.0% per annum for women) consistent with gains in life expectancy at birth from:

- 79.3 years in 2015 to 83.6 years in 2036 for males
- 83.3 years in 2015 to 86.5 years in 2036 for females

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The Expert Group felt that the three international migration assumptions used in compiling the State population and labour force projections should also be modelled for the regional projections.

M1: Net migration +30,000 per annum to 2036

M2: Net migration +20,000 per annum to 2036

M3: Net migration +10,000 per annum to 2036

The gross flow components of these assumptions, (M1, M2 and M3), were regionally distributed using patterns observed in the Labour Force Survey for the period 2011-2016. Flows were also broken down by single year of age and gender on the same basis as for the total flows into and out of the State (i.e. no region-specific age distribution has been applied). See table 1.3 and table 1.4.

Show Table: Table 1.3 Percentage distribution of gross international migration flows by Regional Authority area, 2011-2016

Show Table: Table 1.4 Assumed annual average migration flows, 2016 - 2036

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Internal Migration Assumptions

Dublin Outflow: 2016 internal migration flows of -4,400 per annum from Dublin to other regions reverting to the 2006 pattern of -10,200 outflows from Dublin annually by 2021 and remaining constant thereafter

Dublin Inflow: 2016 internal migration flows of -4,400 per annum from Dublin reverting to a traditional 1996 pattern of +2,100 inflows from other regions to Dublin per annum by 2021 and remaining constant thereafter.

By examining a person’s usual residence at the time of a census and one year previously it is possible to determine inter-regional migration patterns. An analysis of the data from the 1991 and 1996 censuses for internal migration between regions reveals a fairly stable picture in terms of the magnitude of the inward, outward and net migration flows. During this period the Dublin and Mid-East regions had net inward migration flows while flows for all other regions showed a net outflow. The 2002 and 2006 Censuses, however, revealed a substantially different pattern of internal migration between regions and in particular for the Dublin region which showed a net outward flow of 12,600 persons in the year to April 2002 and 10,200 in the year to April 2006. The 2011 census reflected a small net inflow of 689 persons into Dublin in the year to April. The 2016 Census showed a reversal back to the 2002 and 2006 pattern of internal migration flows with Dublin experiencing net outflows of 4,400 persons in the year to April 2016, with the Mid-East region the primary beneficiary.

Following close consideration of the various internal migration flows, the Expert Group agreed on two contrasting internal migration patterns to project the regional population forward to 2036. The 'Dublin Outflow' assumption chosen by the Expert Group sees internal migration outflows from Dublin increasing from -4,400 persons in 2016, back to 2006 levels of -10,200  persons per annum, (moving from Dublin to other regions) by 2021.  The 'Dublin Inflow' assumption chosen by the Expert Group sees internal migration outflows from Dublin decreasing from -4,400 in 2016 and reverting to the historic (1996 census) trend of annual inflows of 2,100 persons from other regions to Dublin by 2021. See table 1.5 and fig 1.4.

Show Table: Table 1.5 Internal migration flows by Regional Authority Area, Census 2016 and projected scenarios

X-axis label201620061996
Border5161093-984
Dublin-4386-102132055
Mid-East186658151959
Midland7441899-1026
Mid-West-91-11-255
South-East10111693-693
South-West31-549-801
West309273-255
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This report contains a number of summary tables, as each series in the summary tables has been independently rounded there may be slight discrepancies between the sum (or difference) of the constituent items and the total shown.

The composition of each Regional Authority Area is outlined in Appendix 2 Concepts and Definitions.

The CSO Statbank contains data on regional births, deaths and net internal and international migration classified by gender for each year from 2017 to 2036. Detailed projections for each NUTS3 region classified by gender and single year of age for each year from 2017 to 2036 are also available on the CSO Statbank here.  

Go to: Regional Population Projections Results Overview