Census 2022: Ireland's population hits record levels

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Shoppers on a Dublin street.Image source, Getty Images / Marc Dufresne

The Republic of Ireland's population is at an all-time high in the history of the state, according to latest census figures.

The data, which was collected in April 2022, shows that the population has reached 5.1 million people.

It is the first time the population has exceeded five million since the census of 1851.

The population across the island of Ireland has not yet recovered to pre-famine levels.

The 2022 census figures mark a 7.6% increase since the survey was last held in 2016.

All 26 counties recorded a growth in population with Longford and Meath seeing the biggest rises at 14.1% and 12.9%, respectively.

Devastated by famine

The preliminary figures released by the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that the the population was 5,123,536 on 3 April.

The population increase of 361,671 was made up of a natural increase (births minus deaths) of 171,338 and estimated net inward migration (population change minus natural increase) of 190,333.

The population across the island of Ireland was devastated by the famine which occurred between 1845 and 1852.

The counties comprising the modern day Republic of Ireland had a population of about 6.5 million at the 1841 census with 1.6 million in Northern Ireland's counties.

About one million people died as a result of the famine with a further two million emigrating.

The latest figures reveal there were slightly more females than males recorded in the census at 2,593,600 and 2,529,936, respectively.

Census figures released last month by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) show that Northern Ireland's population has grown to just under two million.

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Micheál Martin said the growth showed "the benefits of economic and employment growth in recent years".

He also welcomed that population increases have happened across every region.

Cormac Halpin, senior statistician in the CSO's census division, said: "The results provide valuable initial insights into how our population and housing situation is changing and developing since Census 2016.

"We are busy working on the completed census forms and look forward to begin sharing the full set of detailed results from April next year."

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