Top 20 Settlements in Ireland by Population

Dublin is Ireland’s most populous city.

This is a list of the 25 largest towns and cities on the island of Ireland by population. It therefore includes towns and cities in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Rank Settlement Population Province County Description
1 Dublin 1,110,627 Leinster County Dublin Dublin is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland and has been the island’s largest settlement since the Middle Ages. Situated on Ireland’s east coast, it is a world center for education, media and international trade and is the only Irish city with a population exceeding 1 million people.
2 Belfast 483,418 Ulster County Antrim, County Down Belfast is the capital and largest city of the six counties of Northern Ireland and is home to Northern Ireland’s devolved government and power-sharing assembly. The 14th-largest city in the United Kingdom by population, Belfast received city status in 1888 and played a central role in the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.
3 Cork 198,582 Munster County Cork Cork is the largest city in the province of Munster in the South of Ireland and is the industrial and economic center of County Cork; the island’s largest county. Often referred to by Corkonians as the “real capital of Ireland”, Cork is one of Ireland’s oldest cities; having received city status in the 900s. The Greater Cork area has a population of over 380,000 people.
4 Limerick 95,854 Munster County Limerick, County Clare Limerick is the principal city of Ireland’s Mid-west region, also known as the Shannon region and is the second-largest city in Munster. Some of the city’s Northern portion crosses the border into neighbouring County Clare. Limerick is a constituent city of the Cork-Limerick-Clare-Galway corridor, which has a population of over 1,000,000.
5 Derry 93,512 Ulster County Londonderry Derry/Londonderry is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland and in Ulster. The name of both the city and the county in which it is located is officially Londonderry although this is rarely used today, particularly among the city’s predominantly Catholic population. The subject of the name of the city has caused huge controversy in the past and continues to do so.
6 Galway 76,778 Connacht County Galway Galway is a coastal city located on the Northern shore of Galway Bay on Ireland’s west coast. It is the largest city in the province of Connacht and in the sparsely-populated West of Ireland. It is one of the Ireland’s primary centres of industry, education, the arts, administration, healthcare and economy and is also among the island’s top tourist destinations; second only to Dublin. Of the country’s major cities, Galway has the highest percentage of fluent speakers of the Irish language due to its proximity to Connemara the island’s largest Gaeltacht region.
7 Lisburn 71,465 Ulster County Antrim, County Down Lisburn was granted city status in 2002 as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s golden jubilee celebrations. The city lies on the border between County Antrim and County Down; Northern Ireland’s two most populated counties. Lisburn is the largest inland city on the island.
8 Newtownabbey 62,056 Ulster County Antrim Newtownabbey is officially Northern Ireland’s largest town as it has not been granted city status. This is due to the fact that it is considered by many to be a suburb of the city of Belfast to the North.
9 Bangor 58,388 Ulster County Down Located in County Down, the town of Bangor is a popular seaside resort and is known for the natural beauty of its surrounding countryside, its Victorian architecture and its nightlife.
10 Waterford 51,519 Munster County Waterford Waterford is the largest city in the South-East of Ireland and is the third-largest in the province of Munster. It is the island of Ireland’s oldest surviving city founded by Vikings in the 9th century AD.
11 Drogheda 38,578[1] Leinster County Louth/County Meath Drogheda is the most populous town in Ireland, located in County Louth with its southern environs located in County Meath. It is a major industrial port on the East coast of Ireland and lies at the centre of the densely populated South Louth / East Meath Area.
12 Dundalk 37,816 Leinster County Louth Dundalk is the most populous town in County Louth (within legal Town boundaries) and is located in the North of the county, near to the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is the county town of Louth.
13 Swords 36,924 Leinster Fingal Swords is a Northside suburban town of Dublin located in its own administrative county of Fingal. It is the heart of the North County Dublin metropolitan area and is the second-largest settlement in the county in terms of both population and land area.
14 Bray 31,872 Leinster County Wicklow Bray is the most populous town in the mountainous and sparsely-populated County Wicklow, immediately south of County Dublin. It is sometimes considered to be part of the Greater Dublin Area. Bray is a seaside town and is a popular traditional tourist destination.
15 Ballymena 28,717 Ulster County Antrim Ballymena is a town located in North County Antrim. It is built on land given to the Adair family by King Charles I in 1626. It was granted a Papal writ in 2009.
16 Navan 28,559 Leinster County Meath Navan is the largest town in County Meath and is one of the island of Ireland’s fastest-growing settlements. It is one of the very few places in the world which have palindromic names.
17 Newtownards 27,821 Ulster County Down
18 Newry 27,433 Ulster County Down
19 Carrickfergus 27,201 Ulster County Antrim
20 Ennis 25,360 Munster County Clare The county town and largest urban centre in County Clare.

Related Posts


Ireland Before You Die is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Leave a comment