1911 census of Ireland

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Census of Ireland, 1911

← 1901 2 April 1911 (1911-04-02) 1926 →

General information
CountryIreland
Results
Total population4,390,219 (Decrease -1.52%)
Most populous ​countyAntrim (480,016)
Least populous ​countyCarlow (36,252)

The Census of Ireland, 1911 was a last census that covered the whole island of Ireland.[1] Censuses were taken at ten-year intervals from 1821 onwards, but the 1921 census was cancelled due to the Irish War of Independence.

The original records of the 1821 to 1851 censuses were destroyed by fire at the Four Courts in Dublin during the Irish Civil War, while those between 1861 and 1891 were possibly pulped during the First World War.[2] All that remained were the 1901 and 1911 census, with the latter put online in 2009 by the National Archives of Ireland.[2]

Information collected[edit]

The census information was recorded on the following forms:

  • Form A, which was completed by the head of the family
  • Forms B1, B2, and N, which were completed by the census enumerator

Head of the family[edit]

Form A, which was completed by the head of the family, contained the following information for each person in the home on the night of 2 April:

Census of Ireland, 1911: Form A
  • Name and Surname
  • Relation to Head of Family
  • Religious Profession (Protestants were requested to indicate denomination)
  • Education (whether able to read and write)
  • Age (last birthday) and Sex
  • Rank, Profession, or Occupation
  • Particulars as to Marriage (marital status, length of marriage, number of children born alive, number of children still living)
  • Where Born
  • Irish Language (whether able to speak Irish)
  • Disability: if persons were:

The form was signed by both the census enumerator and the head of the family.

Census enumerator[edit]

Form B1, which was known as the House and Building Return, was completed by the enumerator and summarised the following administrative information for the street or townland, or part thereof:

It then summarised the following information pertaining to the houses and families of the street or townland. The information about houses included:

  • Number of House or Building
  • Whether Built or Building
  • Whether Private Dwelling, Public Building, School, Manufactory, Hotel, Public-house, Lodging-house, Shop, etc.
  • Number of Out-Offices and Farm-steadings as returned on Form B2
  • Whether House Inhabited
  • Walls (whether made of permanent or perishable material)
  • Roof (whether made of permanent or perishable material)
  • Rooms (number, whether 1, 2–4, 5–6, 7–9, 10–12, 13+)
  • Windows in Front (exact number)
  • Class of House (1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th, based on information supplied above)

The information about families included:

  • Number of distinct Families in each House
  • Name of the Head of each Family residing in the House
  • Number of Rooms occupied by each Family
  • Total Number of Persons in each Family
  • Date on which Form A was collected
  • Number of Persons in each Family who were sick on 2 April 1911
  • Name of the Landholder (if any) on whose Holding the House is situated
  • Number on Form M1 if House is on the Holding of a Landholder

Form B2, the Return of Outhouses and Farm-Steadings, gave more detailed information on secondary buildings attached to a property, such as outhouses, workshops, and various kinds of farm buildings.

Form N, the Enumerator's Abstract for a Townland or Street, recorded the enumerator's name, the same administrative information as listed for Form B1, the properties and which were inhabited, and the numbers of families, males, and females, and persons of each religious denomination.

Population[edit]

Total[edit]

The total population of Ireland according to the 1911 census was 4,390,219 of whom 2,192,048 were male and 2,198,171 were female.

By province[edit]

Province Flag Irish name Population (1911) Density (km2) Counties
Connaught Connacht Connachta
Cúige Chonnacht
610,984 34.5 5
Leinster Leinster Laighin
Cúige Laighean
1,162,044 58.7 12
Munster Munster Mumhain
Cúige Mumhan
1,035,495 42.0 6
Ulster Ulster Ulaidh
Cúige Uladh
1,581,696 71.7 9

By county[edit]

Rank County Population Density (km2) Province Change since
previous census
1 Antrim* 480,016 156 Ulster 4.5%
2 Dublin 477,196 518 Leinster 6.5%
3 Cork 392,104 52 Munster -3.1%
4 Down* 305,098 123 Ulster 2.8%
5 Mayo 192,177 34 Connaught -3.5%
6 Galway 182,224 30 Connaught -5.4%
7 Donegal 168,537 35 Ulster -2.4%
8 Kerry 159,691 33 Munster -3.6%
9 Tipperary 152,433 35 Munster -4.9%
10 Limerick 143,069 52 Munster -2.1%
11 Tyrone 142,665 44 Ulster -5.2%
12 Londonderry 140,625 66 Ulster -2.6%
13 Armagh 120,291 91 Ulster -4.1%
14 Clare 104,232 30 Munster -7.2%
15 Wexford 102,273 43 Leinster -1.8%
16 Roscommon 93,956 37 Connaught -7.7%
17 Cavan 91,173 47 Ulster -6.5%
18 Waterford 83,966 45 Munster -3.7%
19 Sligo 79,045 43 Connaught -6.0%
20 Kilkenny 74,962 36 Leinster -5.3%
21 Monaghan 71,455 55 Ulster -4.2%
22 Kildare 66,627 39 Leinster 4.8%
23 Meath 65,091 28 Leinster -3.6%
24 Louth 63,665 77 Leinster -3.3%
25 Leitrim 63,582 40 Connaught -8.3%
26 Fermanagh 61,836 37 Ulster -5.5%
27 Wicklow 60,711 30 Leinster -0.2%
28 Westmeath 59,986 33 Leinster -2.7%
29 King's County 56,832 28 Leinster -5.6%
30 Queen's County 54,629 32 Leinster -4.9%
31 Longford 43,820 40 Leinster -6.1%
32 Carlow 36,252 40 Leinster -4.0%
Total Ireland 4,390,219 52 -1.52%
Average 137,194

*Note: The County Borough of Belfast, established in 1888, straddled the border between Down and Antrim. The River Lagan was the traditional boundary of the two counties. The borough of Belfast had 15 wards, three of which - Ormeau, Pottinger and Victoria - were south of the Lagan and have been included as part of County Down's population. The remainder have been added to County Antrim's population.

Cities[edit]

City Population
Belfast 386,947
Dublin 304,802
Cork 76,673
Derry 40,780
Limerick 38,518
Waterford 27,464
Galway 13,255

Religion[edit]

According to the 1911 census, religious profession broke down as follows:

Religious profession Number Percentage
Roman Catholic 3,238,656 73.8%
Church of Ireland 575,489 13.1%
Presbyterian 439,876 10.0%
Methodist 61,806 1.4%
Other Christian denominations 57,718 1.3%
Jewish 5,101 0.1%

Viewing the returns[edit]

The census returns of 1911 for all 32 counties are available online. The website is freely accessible, with no charge for viewing any of the material.

The original manuscripts of the Census of Ireland are all housed in the National Archives of Ireland. The returns are arranged by townland for rural areas and by street in cities, and it is necessary to know the townland or street where a person lived and its corresponding District Electoral Division to find the record of a particular person of interest.

The Family History Library also holds microfilm copies of the original 1911 census returns and these can be viewed at the Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. A list of Royal Irish Constabulary police barracks, for which the Form H Barrack Returns can be identified, is available at the free to use Royal Irish Constabulary Research Forum.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Irish Census: Northern Ireland documents among 'lost' records". BBC. 29 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Last all-Ireland census goes online". BBC. 3 September 2009.

External links[edit]