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Census 2022: Ireland’s population passes the five-million mark for the first time since 1851 – here’s what we learned

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The national census took place on April 3. Photo: Jason Clarke

The national census took place on April 3. Photo: Jason Clarke

Graphic via CSO

Graphic via CSO

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The national census took place on April 3. Photo: Jason Clarke

THE first results from the 2022 census are out. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) published the preliminary results of the first population-wide survey since 2016 this morning. The official results of the 2022 census will be released next April.

The census, which was carried out in April, had been delayed a year by the Covid-19 pandemic. The next census will be carried out in 2027.

Here is what we learned:

  1. The population of the country now stands at 5,123,536 people. It is the first time that the population has been over five million since 1851. This is an increase of 7.6pc from the 2016 census, which told us there were 4,757,976 people living in the state. The 2016 population figure was an increase of 3.7pc on the previous census, carried out in 2011. There were 2,593,600 females and 2,529,936 males recorded, which is an increase of 7.7pc and 7.5pc respectively.

  2. Every county in Ireland saw their population grow, and the counties where the population grew the most were in Leinster. The population of Longford grew by more than 14pc – the highest percentage increase in the country – though it is important to note that Longford has the second-lowest population in Ireland.

  3. The fastest growing Dáil constituency, in terms of population, was Meath East, with a 13pc increase. The slowest were Donegal and Limerick County.

  4. According to the 2022 census, the current housing stock is 2,124,590. This is a growth of 120,000, or an increase of 6pc on the 2016 figure.

  5. The east of the country had the highest rate of change in its housing stock. Kildare saw a 12pc increase in its housing stock, compared to an 11pc increase in its population. In Roscommon, the housing stock increased by 3pc while the population increased by 8pc.

  6. There are now 16,560 fewer vacant dwellings in Ireland, when comparing the 2022 census with the 2016 census. The CSO said this figure does not include holiday homes. There were 66,135 holiday homes in 2022, compared with 62,148 in 2016.

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Graphic via CSO

Graphic via CSO

Graphic via CSO

The 2022 census was the first to offer “no religion” as the first option when asking people about their faith. It was followed by Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Islam, Orthodox Christian, Presbyterian and Other. In 2016, “no religion” was the last option on the list. This year’s census also gave the public the chance to write a time capsule message of their choosing, which won’t be published until 2122.

As well as the new time-capsule option, the 2022 census included eight new questions relating to childcare, renewable energy, working from home, internet access and devices, smoking, smoke alarms, volunteering and how people travel to work, school or college.

Forms were delivered to over two-million homes, institutions, hotels and other kinds of accommodation ahead of the census on April 3.

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