Failures of planning have an all-too-real human cost
It was the Romans who came up with the notion of a census - not for the good of the people, but for optimising the most efficient means of gathering taxation. The word derives from censere, to 'assess'.
According to the Central Statistics Office, the total population is now 4,757,976. In the last five years, our population has grown by 3.7pc. But that is only part of the story. For instance, in Donegal, one parish has seen 40 of its young men scatter across the globe; the county itself experienced a decline in population of 1.5pc. Meanwhile, in the capital, one area saw a surge of 8pc.
The figures are further evidence of a rural-urban divide and will raise new questions, while also pointing to possible answers as to how we might better plan future development. It confirms the alarming deficit in housing, with demand far outstripping supply.