Irish population exceeds 5 million for the first time since 1840s

The population of Ireland has officially exceeded the five million mark for the first time since the 19th century.

Irish population exceeds 5 million for the first time since 1840s.

According to the findings of the 2022 census by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ireland’s population has grown rapidly and exceeded five million.

This marks the first time that Ireland’s population has reached this figure since the 1840s when the Irish population was decimated by the tragic event which became known as the Great Famine.

The Great Famine saw a potato blight that infected potato crops throughout the country, causing approximately a million people to die and another million to emigrate.

Irish population – exceeding 5 million for the first time since the Famine

Irish population exceeds 5 million for the first time since 1840s.

Ireland‘s population exceeded five million for the first time since the Famine. Ireland’s population experienced decades of continuous decline since 1841, but thankfully it is now 83% higher than its lowest ever point in 1961 when it was just shy of three million.

The official number for the Irish population in the 2022 census was 5,149,139 people, an eight per cent increase from 2016.

The rapid growth of the Irish population in recent years – thanks to a variety of factors

Among the factors for growth is increased immigration to Ireland.

There was an increase of almost 400,000 people between 2016 and 2022. Statisticians explain that this is a natural increase: the death tally was subtracted from the birth rate; the number of emigrants was subtracted from the number of immigrants.

The population increased in every county between 2016 and 2022, ranging from a five per cent increase in counties such as Tipperary, Donegal, and Kilkenny to 14% in Longford.

Population growth tended to be at its highest in the country’s east, with County Meath increasing by 13%, Kildare by 11% and, the Fingal area in Dublin by 12%.

2022 census results – many interesting findings were discovered

More people than ever before responded with 'no religion'.
Credit: Unsplash/ Fabrício Severo

Besides the increase in population for Ireland, the census also revealed many other interesting findings about things such as religion, the ageing of the Irish population, remote working, and the number of single people in the country.

The census results revealed evidence of an ageing population in Ireland as older age groups continued to grow. In contrast, the younger ones declined, with the highest population increase experienced in the over-70s group.

In terms of religion the number of people with ‘no religion’ increased from ten per cent to 14%. Regarding remote working, a third of workers in Ireland revealed that they worked from home for at least some of the working week.

The figures also revealed that the number of single people aged 15 and over made up 43% of the Irish population compared to 41% in 2016.

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