Saturday 29 April 2017

A growing nation - older, more connected, less religious, and more of us living under each roof

While the population is still growing, it is also growing older. Stock Image
While the population is still growing, it is also growing older. Stock Image

Cormac Halpin

It probably seems like an age since your census enumerator knocked on your door to collect your completed census form. For many people handing over the census form may be the last time the census crosses their mind for another five years. For the CSO, getting the completed census forms back is the starting gun for an intense period of activity.

We have been scanning, digitising and storing the responses from each census form electronically for the last 10 months. With the data now finalised, the CSO is embarking on a wide-ranging census publication programme, starting with today's release, which contains many key facts about Ireland's population and society.

The population on April 24, 2016, stood at 4,761,865. This is the highest population total since independence, and a 3.8pc increase over the last census in 2011. However, the rate of population growth has tapered off in comparison with previous censuses. The number of births occurring in Ireland has declined and more people left the country than arrived. The population growth was not evenly spread throughout the country. Leinster counties including Meath, Kildare and Dublin led the way, all experiencing increases in population just shy of 6pc. Indeed, within Dublin, Fingal registered an 8pc growth in its population. At the other end of the scale, only two counties saw their population decline in the five-year period. Mayo's population fell marginally (0.1pc), while Donegal's declined by more than 1pc to 160,000.

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