Demographics in Ireland

The population of the island of Ireland has been seriously influenced over the years by emigration. Many people left Irish shores in the search for work and a better life. The population continues to be effected today but this time in reverse, as expatriates are now returning home and young people are more likely to stay due to the ongoing relative success of the Irish "Celtic Tiger" economy.

Having decreased since 1926, the population of the Irish Republic has risen steadily from the low of the 1960’s. Though the numbers of children in families is decreasing, less are emigrating and the population at the time of the last census in 1996 was approximately 3,626,000. This figure is estimated today at 4.34 million in the Republic (1.7 million inGreater Dublin) .

The Republic of Ireland is far less densely populated than its neighbour Britain, with an average of 52 people per square kilometre (as per the last census in 1996). The most densely populated region is of course the greater Dublin area, while the numbers of people per square kilometre in the various provinces of Ireland varies from 97 in Leinster to 24 in Connaught. Northern Ireland is more densely populated than the Republic, with a present population density of approximately 125 people per square kilometre.

The Republic of Ireland is a relatively young country, with almost 70% of its population under the age of 45 and over 40% of the population under the age of 25. This is a factor that contributes greatly to the present dynamic labour force in the Irish Republic. Just over 11% of the Republic’s population are over 65 years old. Northern Ireland is also a young country but not quite as youthful as its southern counterpart, with approximately 24% of its population under the age of 16. Approximately 15% of Northern Ireland’s population are over retirement age (65 for men and 60 for women).
More in Geography & Demographics
Demographics in Ireland
Provinces & Counties

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