Ireland's population rises to almost 4.6m while 294,000 dwellings are vacant

Posted on Thursday, 30 June 2011

The total population in the Republic of Ireland is 4,581,269 according to the Census 2011 preliminary results. This is an increase of 341,421 on the 2006 census. In percentage terms this shows an increase of 8.1 per cent over the past five years, or an annual average of 1.6 per cent, compared to 2.0 per cent per annum in the period 2002-2006.

The population change varied widely across the country with the highest percentage increase in County Laois (20.0%), more than twice the rate for the State as a whole. Other counties showing strong population growth were Cavan (13.9%), Fingal (13.8%), Longford (13.3%), Meath (13.0%) and Kildare (12.7%).

As in 2002-2006, Cork City and Limerick City were the only two of the thirty-four administrative counties in the State to register a fall in population during the 2006-2011 period.   However, when looked at in geographical (as distinct from administrative unit) terms all counties experienced positive natural increase (births minus deaths) in the inter-censal period 2006-2011, with the rates highest in Fingal, South Dublin, Kildare and Meath. The counties with the lowest rates were Cork City, Roscommon and Mayo.


There continued to be net inward migration, measured at 118,650 over the period 2006-2011 or an average of 23,730 per annum. However, while Ireland continued to experience strong net inward migration for the early years of the period, this was followed by a switch to net outward migration in the later years, resulting in an average annual inward migration rate of less than half that experienced in the period 2002-2006.

All counties apart from South Dublin and the four provincial cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford experienced some level of net inward migration in the period, varying from a high of 23.8 per thousand in Laois to the greatest net outflow of 17.2 per thousand in Limerick City.

Balbriggan Rural the fastest growing Electoral Division

At Electoral Division (ED) level, Balbriggan Rural in Fingal recorded the highest increase in inter-censal population – up 5,531 to 15,146 in April 2011, followed by Lucan-Esker (+3,998) in South Dublin and Glencullen (+3,939) in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown. The constituency of Dublin North, which covers the areas of Balbriggan, Donabate, Lusk, Rush, Skerries, Malahide and part of Swords showed the largest population increase at 16.1%.

More females than males

In a reversal of the situation in 2006, when there were slightly more males than females, there are now more females than males in the country with 981 males for every 1,000 females. On a regional basis, Dublin showed the lowest ratio with only 949 males for every 1000 females, while the Midland region was the only region to show more males than females with 1,002 for every 1000.

Vacant Dwellings

The number of vacant dwellings has increased by 10.5%, to 294,000.  However, vacancy rates have dropped slightly, from 15.0% to 14.7% due to a 13.3% increase in the total number of dwellings.

For further information:visit the CSO website at

The Full text of the Cenus 2011 Preliminary Results can be downloaded below