Census result shows homes crisis is likely to get worse
Our population is rising but builders aren't meeting housing needs. A debate is needed on the State's role
Last week's census results showed that Ireland's population was one of the fastest growing in the EU in the five years to 2016.
At a time when 11 of the bloc's 28 countries experienced declines in their populations, including all the countries which experienced economic crises and bailouts, Ireland was clearly unusual. That Ireland's population grew at more than three times the rate of the EU as a whole underscores how different it is from the demographic norm in Europe.
All this is somewhat surprising. The early years of that 2011-16 period were economically grim, and slumps in the past have led to much more net outward migration than has taken place in recent years. Given the unusually mobile nature of the Irish population historically and the depth of recession suffered over the past decade, one might have expected a bigger outflow of humanity.