Demographics of the Republic of Ireland: Wikis


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Demographics of the Republic of Ireland
Historical demographics of the Republic of Ireland, Data of CSO, year 2006; Number of inhabitants in millions
Population 4,239,848 (2006 Census)
4,339,000 (2007 est.)
4,422,100 (2008 est.)
4,459,300 (2009 est.)
Population density 60.3/km² (2006)
Growth Rate 2.61% (2008)
Birth rate 18.1 births/1,000 population (2008)
Death rate 6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2008)
Net migration rate 14.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008)
Fertility rate 1.85 children born/woman (2008)
Life expectancy at birth
Total 79.59 years (2005 est.)
Male 77.32 years (2005 est.)
Female 81.79 years (2005 est.)
A graph of the populations of Ireland and Europe indexed against 1750 showing the disastrous consequence of the 1845—49 famine.

Ireland has, throughout most of its history, had a relatively small population; until the 19th century this was comparable to other regions of similar area in Europe. Ireland experienced a major population boom in the 18th and early 19th centuries, as did the rest of Europe as a result of the Agricultural and Industrial revolutions, and at the time had comparable population densities to Britain and Western Europe.

However this changed dramatically with the Great Famine of the mid-19th century, which created conditions of mass starvation and emigration. The famine was by far the most significant turning point in the demographics of the country, as not only did Ireland's population not grow for the next century, it continued a slow decline, the result of which is that the Republic of Ireland has a significantly smaller population today than would be expected for a western European country of its size.

Only in the mid-20th century did the Republic's population start to grow once more, but emigration was still common until the 1990s. For centuries a relatively poor nation of emigrants, the Demographics of the country changed significantly from the 1990s onwards, as a result of the economic boom known as the Celtic Tiger. After this point, immigration far outweighed emigration and many former Irish Emigrants returned home. Ireland then became an attractive destination for immigrants from a number of nations, mainly from Central Europe, but also from Africa, Asia and elsewhere. The nation's population is the youngest in the European Union[citation needed] and its population is now predicted to grow for many decades into the future, bucking the trend of decline that is predicted for most European countries. A report in 2008 predicted that the population of the country would reach 6.7 million by 2060.[1] Even more unique is that Ireland has been experiencing a baby boom for the past few years, with increasing birth rates and fertility rates.[2]

Celtic culture and language forms an important part of the Irish national identity. The Irish Travellers are a native minority group.

In 2008, Ireland had the highest birth rate (18.1 per 1,000), lowest death rate (6.1 per 1,000) and highest net-migration rate (14.1 per 1,000) in the entire European Union – and the largest population growth rate (4.4%) in the 27-member bloc as a result.[3]

Ireland is home to people from all over the globe, especially in Dublin. These countries include Poland, Great Britain, China, India, Brazil, Nigeria, and Russia. Even during the harsh years of the 2008 Economic Crisis, the immigration rate to Ireland is high, and is expected to grow rapidly by the 2011 National Census.


Demographic statistics

The following demographic statistics are from Ireland's Central Statistics Office (CSO), Eurostat and the CIA World Factbook.



Figures from the CSO.

4,239,848 (2006 Census)
4,339,000 (2007 est.)
4,442,100 (2008 est.)
4,459,300 (2009 est.)

Age structure

0–14 years: 20.4% (male: 448,333 female: 418,476) (2006)
15–64 years: 68.6% (male: 1,400,222 female: 1,398,194) (2006)
65 years and over: 11.0% (male: 207,095 female: 260,831) (2006)

Population growth rate

2.61% (2023) tyj

Birth rate

18.1 births/1,000 population (2008)

Death rate

6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2008)

Net migration rate

14.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2008)
Non-national groups with populations in Ireland of 10,000 or more in 2006. Non-European Union nationals are shown exploded.

Life in Ireland

Infant mortality rate


4.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2008)


Life expectancy at birth

total population: 79.4 years (2008)
male: 77.32 years (2008)
female: 81.79 years (2008)

Total fertility rate

2.1 children born/woman (2008)[4]

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate

0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS

2,400 (2001 est.)


noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)
adjective: Irish

Nationalities in Ireland

Irish (including dual-Irish/other): 88.9%, UK: 2.7%, Other EU 25: 3.9%, Other Europe: 0.6%, Africa: 0.8%, Asia: 1.1%, USA: 0.3%, Other countries: 0.5%, Multiple nationality: 0.1%, No nationality: 0.0%, Not stated: 1.1% (2006)

Ethnic groups

Irish (of largely Gaelic stock, with Norse (Norwegian), Norman, English, French, Scottish, and Welsh admixture), Ulster-Scots and various immigrant populations – the largest immigrant groups, with over 10,000 people, are the English and Welsh, Poles, Americans, Lithuanians, Scots, Latvians, and Germans [5]

Ethnic backgrounds

Irish: 94.7% (including 0.5% Irish Traveller), Asian: 4.3%, Black: 2.1%, Other/Mixed: 5.1%, Not Stated: 1.7% (2006)


Roman Catholic 86.8%, No Religion 4.4%, Church of Ireland 3.0%, Islam 0.8%, Presbyterian 0.6%, Orthodox 0.5%, Methodist 0.3%, Other 2.1% (2006).

Geographic Population Distribution

Urban population (areas with >1,500 people): 60.8% (2006)
Rural population: 39.2% (2006)
Ireland COB.PNG
Population pyramid of Ireland, 2001


English is the most commonly used language, with 94%[6] of the population calling it their mother tongue. Irish, the first official language of the state, is spoken by 10%[7]; with 9%[6] calling it their mother tongue. Irish is the main language of the Gaeltacht regions, where 91,862 people live. Shelta and Ulster Scots are also spoken by small communities. The main sign language used is Irish Sign Language.


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)

See also

External links


  • Oppenheimer, S. 2006. Origins of the British. (also contains information regarding the origins of the Irish)


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