Census figures show population on the rise

The figures show that the Irish population is aging - with nearly one in five Irish residents born outside of the state

Census figures show population on the rise

The 2016 Census form. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

The number of people in Ireland who identify as non-religious has increased by over 70% in the past five years.

The figures were included among the first batch of statistics from last year’s Irish Census, which were published this morning.

2 million households filled out the Census form on the evening of Sunday the 24th of April 2016.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said the data will lead to “a greater insight and understanding of Ireland today.”


There are 4,761,865 people living in Ireland according to the data – an increase of 3.8% since April 2011.

The only counties that saw a decline in population were Mayo and Donegal.

The average age of the population has risen from 36 to 37.4 years – with the number of males over 65 increasing by 22% and the number of females over 65 increasing by 16.7%.

There are 53,000 more women than men in Ireland.

The total number of non-Irish nationals fell slightly to 535,475 - or 11.6% of the population - the first decline since the introduction of this question in 2002.


Nearly one in five Irish residents were born outside of Ireland according to the data – with the numbers increasing by over 5.5% since 2011.

Over 80,000 people migrated into Ireland in the year to April 2016. More than 28,000 were Irish nationals, while over 54,000 were non-Irish – mainly coming from the UK, Brazil and Poland.


Nearly 10% of the population - 468,400 people - indentified as having no religion, which is an increase of 73.6% on the last Census.

The proportion of the population that identify as Catholic dropped by 6% - although there are still more than 3.7 million Catholics in Ireland.

Families and households:

There were 218,817 single parent families recorded, with the vast majority of these - 86.4% - headed by single mothers.

The average number of children per family remained unchanged at 1.38.

Census 2016 recorded a total of 6,034 same-sex couples, of whom 3,442 were male couples and 2,592 were female.

There were 4,226 persons in same-sex civil partnerships, the first time this category was recorded in the census.

The first batch of figures provided information on age profile, marital status, families, nationality, Irish language, foreign languages, religion and housing.

It is the first of 13 reports due to be published this year.

The results from this first release can be found on the CSO website.