Two-thirds of Irish people now live in urban areas

44% of the country's total urban population live in Dublin

Two-thirds of Irish people now live in urban areas

Rolling News

Almost two-thirds of us now live in urban areas, that's according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

According to the figures, 62.7% of the population lived in urban areas as of April 2016. 

In terms of the breakdown of the figures, 44% of the State’s total urban population live in Dublin, while 11% live in Cork.


Meanwhile, Sligo saw the biggest change in the rate of urbanisation, increasing from 37% to 40% over the past five years.

A total of of 41 towns had a population of 10,000 or more, with 27 in Leinster, nine in Munster, three in Connacht and two in the three Ulster counties.

Fastest growing towns

When it comes to towns, the CSO's criteria defines it as any settlement that has a population of at least 7,500 people since the last preceding census. 

With a population of 40,956 (up 6.2% from April 2011), Drogheda remained the largest town in Ireland.  

Meanwhile, Swords at 39,248 and Dundalk at 39,004 rounded out the top three. The fastest growing town was Saggart with 3,113 people, up by 46.1% since April 2011. 

Ennis which has a population of 25,276 remained the largest town in Munster, while Sligo with a population of 19,199 was Connacht's largest town. Letterkenny was the largest town in Ulster with a population of 19,274.  


Population Density

It seems that we are also now living closer together with the population density currently at 70 people per km2 in April 2016, up from 67 people per km2 in 2011.  

The density average in 2016 was 2,008 people per km2 in urban areas and 27 people per km2  in rural areas while in 2011 the respective figures were 1,736 and 26.

Coastal Living

Finally, new figures show that a lot of us live near the coast. 1.9 million people or 40% of the population reside within 5km of the coast. Of this figure, 40,000 lived less than 100m from the nearest coastline.