Friday 20 April 2018

Census explains schools pressure

New Census figures reveal there are over 39,000 children in Fingal at primary school-going age
New Census figures reveal there are over 39,000 children in Fingal at primary school-going age

Newly released Census 2016 figures have shed light on the pressures currently being experienced on school places across Fingal, showing over 39,000 children in the county at primary school-going age.

Children aged five to 12, made up some 13.3% of the Fingal population last year, and amounted to some 39,349 pupils packed into our primary schools.

The figure is up from 12.1% of the population in 2011 and just over 33,000 in number.

While those children are already at school, there are also large numbers waiting to get in with some 24,899 children aged four and under in Fingal, according to the latest figures releases from the 2016 Census.

The Fingal baby boom does show some sign of slowing down in the figures though, with the number of children under four actually falling from 26,708 in 2011.

With 40,000 in primary school and 25,000 waiting to get in, the pressure on school places in Fingal is something that is not going away anytime soon, the Census figures would suggest.

Some 29.4% of Fingal's population is now under the age of 18, cementing the region's reputation as one of the youngest population centres in the country.

Within Fingal, it is the Balbriggan electoral area which includes most of the north of the county, which has the youngest profile with almost a third of its population now 18-years-old or younger, putting pressure not only on schools but on community and recreation facilities for young people too.

There are more revealing statistics in the latest series of figures released from Census 2016 by the Central Statistics Office and one of the marked changes in the nation and in Fingal is falling numbers in the Catholic church and growing numbers of non-Catholics, whether they are people of other faiths or of no religion. The number of people self-describing as Catholics fell by over 5,000 between Census 2011 and Census 2016 and in percentage terms, 70.1% of the people in Fingal describe themselves as Catholic as opposed to 73.7% in 2011.

Fingal Independent