Irish population analysis

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The population of the island of Ireland in 2012 was approximately 6.4 million comprising 4.58 million in the Republic of Ireland with another 1.8 million in Northern Ireland. Although this is a significant growth over recent years, it is lower than historical figures.

In 1841 the population of the 26 counties which would later form the Republic of Ireland was over 6.5 million people. The Great Famine and the emigration it caused had a dramatic effect, so that by 1871 the 26-county population had dropped by over a third to four million, and by 1926 had reduced further to three million. It held firm around three million until the early 1970s when the population began to rise again. Future predictions are for the population to continue to rise at 1.4% per year until 2021 when it is predicted to be just over five million.[1] The Republic of Ireland is one of the few remaining developed economies to have growth of this scale.

Below are some statistics to illustrate the rise, fall and rise again of the population since 1841. The statistics also illustrate a massive population shift from the west to the east of the country and increasing urbanisation. Counties such as Mayo, Roscommon, Donegal and Leitrim have become depopulated while counties surrounding Dublin including Wicklow, Kildare, Louth and Meath have seen rapid population growth in recent years.

Historical country population[edit]

Data for country population refers to the 26 counties that make up the present state of the Republic of Ireland
IrelandRepublicPopulation1841.PNG
Year Population  %Change
2011 4.58m +7.4
2006 4.24m +8.1
2002 3.92m +8.2
1996 3.63m +2.9
1991 3.53m -(0.6)
1986 3.54m +2.8
1981 3.44m +2.3
1979 3.37m +13.2
1971 2.98m +3.2
1966 2.88m +2.3
1961 2.82m -(2.7)
1956 2.90m -(2.2)
1951 2.96m +0.3
1946 2.96m -(0.5)
1936 2.97m -(0.2)
1926 2.97m -(5.4)
1911 3.14m -(2.6)
1901 3.22m -(7.1)
1891 3.47m -(10.3)
1881 3.87m -(4.5)
1871 4.05m -(5.7)
1861 4.40m -(13.9)
1851 5.11m -(21.7)
1841 6.53m

The population of the 6 counties of Northern Ireland as of 2004 is 1,710,300 which would mean a total population on the island of Ireland as of 2006 of approximately 5,952,761.

County populations 2011[edit]

County Population  %Change County Population  %Change
1 Dublin 1,270,603 +7.0 Antrim 618,108 +1.8
2 Cork 518,128 +7.7 Down 531,665 +8.7
3 Galway 250,541 +8.1 Derry 247,132 +4.8
4 Kildare 209,955 +12.7 Tyrone 177,986 +8.4
5 Limerick 191,306 +3.9 Armagh 174,792 +7.3
6 Meath 184,034 +13.0 Fermanagh 61,170 +6.3
7 Donegal 160,927 +9.3
8 Tipperary 158,652 +6.4
9 Wexford 145,273 +10.3
10 Kerry 145,048 +3.7
11 Wicklow 136,448 +8.1
12 Mayo 130,552 +5.4
13 Louth 122,808 +10.4
14 Clare 116,885 +5.3
15 Waterford 113,707 +5.3
16 Kilkenny 95,360 +8.9
17 Westmeath 85,961 +9.7
18 Laois 80,458 +20.0
19 Offaly 76,806 +8.4
20 Cavan 72,874 +13.9
21 Sligo 65,270 +7.2
22 Roscommon 63,898 +8.7
23 Monaghan 60,495 +8.0
24 Carlow 54,532 +8.3
25 Longford 38,970 +13.3
26 Leitrim 31,778 +9.8

See also List of Irish counties by population

Historical populations per province[edit]

(Measured in 1000's)

Data for Ulster refers to the 3 counties of Ulster that constitute part of the Republic of Ireland: Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan

Leinster[edit]

Year 2014 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 2,501 2,292 2,103 1,920 1,858 1,851 1,789 1,741 1,495 1,413 1,330 1,336 1,336 1,278 1,217 1,147 1,160 1,152 1,186 1,276 1,336 1,454 1,668 1,969
Rank 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2
 %Change 9 9 9.53 3.34 0.38 3.47 2.76 16.45 5.8 6.24 -(0.45) 0 4.54 5.01 6.10 -(1.12) 0.69 -(2.87) -(7.05) -(4.49) -(8.12) -(12.83) -(15.29)

Munster[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 1,244 1,173 1,098 1,032 1,004 1,018 996 978 879 856 847 874 897 914 940 968 1,033 1,073 1,169 1,328 1,390 1,510 1,856 2,394
Rank 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1
 %Change 6.0 6.83 6.4 2.79 -(1.38) 2.21 1.84 11.26 2.69 1.06 -(3.09) -(2.56) -(1.86) -(2.77) -(2.89) -(6.29) -(3.73) -(8.21) -(11.97) -(4.46) -(7.95) -(18.64) -(22.47)

Connacht[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 542 504 464 431 421 431 424 418 390 401 418 446 471 493 525 552 611 646 724 820 846 911 1,008 1,417
Rank 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
 %Change 7.5 8.62 7.66 2.38 -(2.32) 1.65 1.44 7.18 -(2.74) -(4.07) -(6.28) -(5.31) -(4.46) -(6.10) -(4.89) -(9.66) -(5.42) -(10.77) -(11.71) -(3.07) -(7.14) -(9.62) -(28.86)

Ulster (part of)[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 294 267 247 233 232 236 230 226 207 209 218 236 253 263 280 300 331 347 385 438 474 517 571 739
Rank 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
 %Change 10.1 8.1 6.01 0.43 -(1.69) 2.61 1.77 9.18 -(0.96) -(4.13) -(7.63) -(6.72) -(3.80) -(6.07) -(6.67) -(9.37) -(4.61) -(9.87) -(12.10) -(7.59) -(8.32) -(9.46) -(22.73)

Historical populations per county[edit]

(Measured in 1000's)

Dublin[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 1,271 1,186 1,122 1,058 1,025 1,021 1,003 983 852 795 718 705 693 636 586 505 477 448 419 418 405 410 405 372
Rank 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 5
 %Change 7.0 5.7 6.05 3.22 0.39 3.21 −1.22 1.23 8.87

Cork[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 518 481 447 420 410 412 402 396 352 339 330 336 341 343 355 365 391 404 438 495 517 544 649 854
Rank 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1
 %Change 7.7 7.61 6.43 2.44 −0.49 −4.26 −4.96 −16.18 −24

Galway[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 251 231 209 188 180 178 172 167 149 148 149 155 160 165 168 169 182 192 214 242 248 271 321 440
Rank 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 4 2
 %Change 8.1 10.53 11.17 4.44 1.12 −2.42 −8.49 −15.58 −27.05

Kildare[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 210 186 163 134 122 116 104 97 71 66 64 65 66 64 57 58 66 63 70 75 83 90 95 114
Rank 4 4 5 5 7 8 9 9 13 14 14 14 14 17 20 19 17 20 20 20 20 21 24 25
 %Change 12.7 14.11 21.64 9.84 5.17 −9.64 −7.78 −5.26 −16.67

Limerick[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 191 184 175 165 161 164 161 157 140 137 133 137 141 142 141 140 143 146 158 180 191 217 262 330
Rank 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 6 7 8 8 8 8 8 7 6 6
 %Change 3.9 5.14 6.06 2.48 −1.83 −5.76 −11.98 −17.18 −20.61

Meath[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 184 163 134 109 105 103 95 90 71 67 65 66 66 66 61 62 65 67 76 87 95 110 140 183
Rank 6 6 8 10 10 10 11 11 13 13 13 13 14 14 17 18 18 18 18 18 18 17 16 16
 %Change 13.0 21.6 22.94 3.81 1.94 −8.42 −13.64 −21.43 −23.5


Donegal[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 161 147 137 129 128 130 125 122 108 109 114 122 132 136 142 153 169 174 187 206 218 237 255 296
Rank 7 8 7 7 6 6 6 6 8 8 8 7 7 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 7 7
 %Change 9.3 7.3 6.2 0.78 −1.54 −5.5 −8.02 −7.06 −13.85

Tipperary[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 159 149 140 133 131 136 134 133 123 121 123 128 133 135 137 140 151 159 172 199 216 248 331 435
Rank 8 7 6 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 6 7 8 7 7 7 7 7 6 5 3 3
 %Change 6.4 6.43 5.26 1.53 −3.68 −7.87 −12.9 −25.08 −23.91

Wexford[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 145 132 116 104 102 103 99 96 86 83 83 87 90 92 94 96 102 104 112 123 132 143 180 202
Rank 9 10 11 11 11 10 10 10 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 11 12 12 12 10 12
 %Change 10.3 13.79 11.54 1.96 −0.97 −6.82 −7.69 −20.56 −10.89

Kerry[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 145 140 132 126 121 124 122 120 112 112 116 122 126 133 139 149 159 165 179 201 196 201 238 293
Rank 10 9 9 8 8 7 7 7 6 7 7 7 8 8 7 6 6 6 6 6 7 8 8 8
 %Change 3.7 6.06 4.76 4.13 −2.42 2.55 −2.49 −15.55 −18.77

Wicklow[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 136 126 114 102 97 95 87 84 66 60 58 60 63 60 59 58 61 61 62 70 78 86 98 126
Rank 11 11 12 12 12 12 15 15 15 15 17 18 18 19 19 19 21 22 24 24 22 24 23 23
 %Change 8.1 10.53 11.76 5.15 2.11 −10.26 −9.3 −12.24 −22.22

Mayo[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 131 124 117 111 110 115 114 114 109 115 123 133 141 148 161 172 192 199 219 245 246 254 274 388
Rank 12 12 10 9 9 9 8 8 7 6 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 4
 %Change 5.4 7.09 9.41 0.91 −8.09 −0.41 −3.15 −7.3 −39.87

Louth[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 123 111 102 92 91 92 89 86 75 70 67 69 69 66 64 63 64 66 71 78 84 91 108 128
Rank 13 13 14 15 13 13 12 13 11 12 12 12 12 14 16 17 19 19 19 19 19 19 22 22
 %Change 10.4 8.82 10.87 1.1 −1.09 −7.14 −7.69 −15.74 −15.63

Clare[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 117 111 103 94 90 91 88 85 75 74 74 77 81 85 90 95 104 112 124 141 147 166 212 286
Rank 14 13 13 13 15 14 14 14 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
 %Change 5.3 7.77 9.57 4.44 −1.1 −4.08 −11.45 −21.7 −25.87

Waterford[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 114 108 102 94 91 91 89 87 77 73 71 74 75 76 78 79 84 87 98 112 123 134 164 196
Rank 15 15 15 13 13 14 12 12 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 15
 %Change 5.3 6.93 7.45 3.3 0 −8.94 −8.21 −18.29 −16.33

Kilkenny[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 95 87 80 75 73 73 70 69 61 60 61 64 65 66 68 70 74 79 87 99 109 124 158 202
Rank 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 15 15 15 17 14 14 15 15 15 15 16 16 15 14 12
 %Change 8.9 8.75 6.67 2.74 0 −9.17 −12.1 −21.52 −21.78

Westmeath[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 86 79 72 63 62 63 62 60 54 53 53 54 54 55 55 57 60 62 65 72 78 91 111 141
Rank 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 19 20 20 21 21 21 21 22 21 22 23 22 19 20 21
 %Change 8.3 9.72 14.29 1.61 −1.59 −7.69 −14.29 −18.02 −21.28

Laois[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 80 67 59 52 52 53 51 49 45 44 45 47 48 49 50 51 54 57 64 73 79 90 111 153
Rank 18 19 19 21 21 22 22 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 24 24 24 24 23 21 21 21 20 19
 %Change 20.0 13.56 13.46 0 −1.89 −7.59 −12.22 −18.92 −27.45

Offaly[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 77 71 64 59 58 60 58 57 52 52 52 52 53 54 51 53 57 60 66 73 76 90 112 147
Rank 19 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 20 20 21 21 22 22 22 23 23 23 21 21 24 21 18 20
 %Change 8.4 10.94 8.47 1.72 −3.33 −3.95 −15.56 −19.64 −23.81

Cavan[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 73 64 57 53 53 54 54 54 53 54 57 62 66 70 77 82 91 98 112 129 141 154 174 243
Rank 20 20 21 20 20 21 21 20 19 18 18 17 14 13 13 12 12 12 11 11 10 11 11 11
 %Change 13.9 12.28 7.55 0 −1.85 −8.51 −8.44 −11.49 −28.4

Sligo[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 65 61 58 55 54 56 55 55 50 51 54 57 61 62 67 71 79 84 98 111 115 124 128 180
Rank 21 21 20 19 19 19 19 19 21 21 19 19 19 18 15 14 14 14 13 14 14 15 17 17
 %Change 7.2 5.17 5.45 1.85 −3.57 −3.48 −7.26 −3.13 −28.89

Roscommon[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 64 59 54 52 52 55 55 54 54 56 59 64 68 73 78 84 94 102 114 132 141 157 173 254
Rank 22 22 22 21 21 20 19 20 17 17 16 15 13 12 11 11 11 11 10 10 10 10 12 10
 %Change 8.7 9.26 3.85 0 −5.45 −6.38 −10.19 −9.25 −31.89

Monaghan[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 60 56 53 51 51 52 51 50 46 46 47 52 55 57 61 65 71 75 86 103 115 126 142 200
Rank 23 23 23 23 23 23 22 22 22 22 22 21 20 20 17 16 16 16 16 15 14 14 15 14
 %Change 8.0 5.66 3.92 0 −1.92 −10.43 −8.73 −11.27 −29

Carlow[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1989 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 54 50 46 42 41 41 40 39 34 34 33 34 34 34 34 34 36 38 41 47 52 57 68 86
Rank 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 25 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26
 %Change 8.3 8.7 9.52 2.44 0 −9.62 −8.77 −16.18 −20.93

Longford[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 39 34 31 30 30 31 31 31 28 29 31 33 35 36 38 40 44 47 53 61 65 72 82 115
Rank 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 26 26 26 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 24
 %Change 13.3 9.68 3.33 0 −3.23 −6.15 −9.72 −12.2 −28.7

Leitrim[edit]

Year 2011 2006 2002 1996 1991 1986 1981 1979 1971 1966 1961 1956 1951 1946 1936 1926 1911 1901 1891 1881 1871 1861 1851 1841
Population 32 29 26 25 25 27 28 28 28 31 33 37 41 45 51 56 64 69 79 90 96 105 112 155
Rank 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 25 25 24 24 24 24 22 22 19 17 17 17 17 18 18 18
 %Change 9.8 11.54 4 0 −7.41 −6.25 −8.57 −6.25 −27.74

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Central Statistics Office, Regional Population Projections 2006–2021, 25 May 2005

External links[edit]