Irish population in 2011 at highest in 150 years
By Finfacts Team
Jun 30, 2011 - 12:16 PM

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The first results from Census 2011 issued today, show that Ireland's population now stands at 4,581,269, an increase of 341,421 over the last census in 2006, which had shown that the population had reached 4.2m - - the first time since 1871 to exceed the 4m mark. The Census 2011 result puts the population at its highest since 1861 -- 150 years ago.

The results published today show population changes for geographical areas including counties, constituencies and right down to Electoral Divisions. “The information is available for 3,440 areas.  People can go on to the CSO website at see the results for their own area,” according to Shaun McLaughlin, statistician at the CSO.

For now only headcount totals for males and females are available. Scanning and processing of the twom census forms has begun and the first definitive results are due to be published next March, within a year of census day.

McLaughlin explained that “These early results are based on the summary counts for each enumeration area which were compiled by the 4,854 enumerators. These clerical summaries have been returned to the CSO in advance of the census forms and the results published today are based on this information. The enumerators did a great job getting their summaries back to us, which allows us to prepare these early results of the census. We’d like to thank the entire census field staff for all their hard work and perseverance over the course of the census field campaign.”

“It is very important to us that we produce early results so that the Irish public can make the connection between the census form they filled out only a couple of months ago and the important statistics that are available as a result,” he said.

Strong Population Growth: The total population enumerated on census night 10th April was 4,581,269, an increase of 341,421 on the 2006 census. This represents an increase of 8.1% over the past five years, or an annual average of 1.6%, compared to 2.0% per annum in the period 2002-2006.

Population of Laois increased by 20%: The population change varied widely across the country with the highest percentage increase in County Laois (20.0%), more than twice the rate for the State as a whole. Other counties showing strong population growth were Cavan (13.9%), Fingal (13.8%), Longford (13.3%), Meath (13.0%) and Kildare (12.7%).

As in 2002-2006, Cork City and Limerick City were the only two of the thirty-four administrative counties in the State to register a fall in population during the 2006-2011 period.

Natural increase positive in all counties: All counties experienced positive natural increase (births minus deaths) in the intercensal period 2006-2011, with the rates highest in Fingal, South Dublin, Kildare and Meath. The counties with the lowest rates were Cork City, Roscommon and Mayo.

Migration: There continued to be net inward migration, measured at 118,650 over the period 2006-2011 or an average of 23,730 p.a. However, while Ireland continued to experience strong net inward migration for the early years of the period, this was followed by a switch to net outward migration in the latter years, resulting in an average annual inward migration rate of less than half that experienced in the period 2002-2006.

All counties apart from South Dublin and the four provincial cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford experienced some level of net inward migration in the period, varying from a high of 23.8 per thousand in Laois to the greatest net outflow of 17.2 per thousand in Limerick City.

Balbriggan Rural the fastest growing Electoral Division: At Electoral Division (ED) level, Balbriggan Rural in Fingal recorded the highest increase in intercensal population – up 5,531 to 15,146 in April 2011, followed by Lucan-Esker (+3,998) in South Dublin and Glencullen (+3,939) in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown.

The constituency of Dublin North, which covers the areas of Balbriggan, Donabate, Lusk, Rush, Skerries, Malahide and part of Swords showed the largest population increase at 16.1%.

More females than males: In a reversal of the situation in 2006, when there were slightly more males than females, there are now more females than males in the country with 981 males for every 1,000 females. On a regional basis, Dublin showed the lowest ratio with only 949 males for every 1000 females, while the Midland region was the only region to show more males than females with 1,002 for every 1000.

Vacant Dwellings: The number of vacant dwellings has increased by 10.5%, although vacancy rates have dropped slightly, from 15.0% to 14.7% due to a 13.3% increase in the total number of dwellings.

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