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Thursday 22 February 2018

Young flock back to live in capital's inner city

Paul Melia

DUBLIN's inner city population is getting younger and more diverse, but there are still very few families living in the thousands of apartments built during the boom.

A major study by UCD's Department of Geography says that population patterns are reversing.

]Suburbs are now made up of older people while the younger generation has moved back into the city.

'Boomtown Dublin 1986-2006, A Census Atlas' says while the capital's population has not increased, remaining at just over 500,000 people, its geographical distribution and make-up has changed dramatically.

In 1986, the bulk of the population lived in suburban areas and was very young, while the inner city was depopulated and ageing.

Just 20 years later, the situation was reversed. Young, single, professional people flocked to the inner city as dilapidated housing was cleared and replaced by apartments, while the outer suburbs were ageing and losing residents.

It also found:



  • Most non-nationals live in the inner city, with 35pc of Asian or Asian-Irish people living around O'Connell Street, Parnell Street and Gardiner Street.
  • Dubliners have become better educated and are more likely to work in professions than in manufacturing.
  • Family sizes are smaller and women are less likely to work at home.


Empty nest

The north docklands has experienced a 22pc increase in population since 1986, while "empty nest" syndrome has hit the suburbs. Baldoyle has experienced a population decrease of 24pc since 1986.

"A considerable capital investment in the inner city has resulted in the emergence of a thriving and regenerated urban centre," post-graduate student Colin Healy from UCD said.

"In 1986, the bulk of the Dublin city population lived in suburban areas and was very young, whereas today the situation is completely reversed.

"The once hollowed-out urban core has been regenerated over the past 20 years. Immigrants, a population group which was not included in the 1986 census, now represent a significant proportion of inner city dwellers."

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