Ireland's population has topped 5 million for the first time since 1851 1 month ago

Ireland's population has topped 5 million for the first time since 1851

Big numbers.

The population of the Republic of Ireland has officially topped five million for the first time in 170 years.


According to new figures released by the Central Statistics Office on Tuesday (31 August), the population increased by 34,000 (+0.7%) to 5.01 million in the year to April 2021 in contrast with an increase of 55,900 (+1.1%) in the year to April 2020.

This marks the first time that the population has risen above five million since the 1851 census, which was taken against the backdrop of the Great Famine. At that time, the total population on the island of Ireland was recorded at 6.6 million.

As for a modern context, the CSO figures reveal that a little over 65,000 people emigrated to Ireland between April 2020 and April 2021, with 30,200 of those estimated to be returning Irish nationals. This represents the highest number of Irish people returning home since 2007.

645,500 non-Irish nationals are recorded as residents, making up one in eight of the total population.

The population of Dublin, meanwhile, has grown by 8,300 individuals, with the latest overall recorded estimate coming in at 1.43 million people, accounting for 28.5% of the country's total population.


In terms of the country's older residents, 742,300 people aged 65 and over were recorded, a marked increase of 112,500 (+17.9%) on the same category since 2016.

"It should be noted that this release covers the 12 months to April 2021," said statistician James Henry. "Therefore, the results reflect some of the demographic and social impacts of Covid-19."

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