Census 2016: Population of Ireland rises to 4.76m

That figure is an increase of 170,000 people since 2011

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Image: CSO

The population of Ireland has risen to 4.76 million people according to preliminary Census 2016 results released this morning.

This figure marks an increase of 169,724 people since the last Census conducted in 2011.

Dublin and commuter belt towns of Meath, Kildare and Laois, and the cities of Cork and Galway showed the largest population increases, while Donegal, Mayo and Sligo were found to be the only counties to witness a decline.

The results also show the number of people per TD has risen above the legal limit of 30,000 in 25 constituencies. Deirdre Cullen from the CSO said this could mean that Ireland will need at least one more TD.

A new Constituency Commission has been established, but its terms of reference mean the Dáil cannot be bigger than 160 members - and there are 158 deputies currently sitting.

The Census also recorded 260,000 vacant dwellings across the country, which is a decrease of almost 14% from 2011. 

CSO Statistician Brendan Murphy explained: "These falls can be seen right across Ireland with the largest falls
in Carlow and Dublin."

The vacancy rate also fell to 12.8%, with holidays homes increasing marginally between this census and the last, from 59,395 to 61,204.

Leitrim remains the county with the highest vacancy rate.

Housing and homeless charities have expressed concern about the number of vacant homes.

The Peter McVerry Trust said urgent action is needed to bring homes back into use, while the Housing Agency said we must find out why properties are vacant and develop a strategy to reduce vacancies.

Niamh Randall of the homeless charity Simon says the Government must bring more homes into use.

"We need to look at private housing stock, and we need to find out why so many homes are vacant," she explained. "If we can find out why, maybe we can look at addressing that."


Discussing the figures in general, Brendan Murphy explained: “These preliminary results, published just 12 weeks after census day, are based on a clerical summary of each enumeration area compiled by the 4,663 enumerators.

"Scanning and processing of the two million actual census forms is well underway and the first definitive results are due to be published next March, within a year of census day”.

The full publication is available to download from the CSO website and you can also view interactive maps to see how your area has changed since since 2011.