Census 2016 Preliminary Results

Kirsty McDonnell

Data is essential to good planning decisions. The preliminary Census 2016 data released today should help ensure the forthcoming National Planning Framework is robust and is based on the most up to date population trends possible.

Also, to help members interpret the data Justin Gleeson from AIRO will address some of the Census 2016 trends in his presentation to the Autumn Planning Conference in October. 

Some of the key points from the CSO’s release today:

  • The preliminary total for the population enumerated on Census Night Sunday the 24th of April 2016 was 4,757,976 persons, compared with 4,588,252 persons in April 2011, an increase of 169,724 persons since 2011 or 3.7 per cent. This translates into an average increase each year of 33,945 persons or 0.7 per cent.
  • Population change varied widely across the country ranging from a high of over 8 per cent in Fingal to a low of -1.5 per cent in Donegal. Among the fastest growing counties were the four administrative areas of Dublin, along with the commuter belt counties of Meath, Kildare and Laois and the cities of Cork and Galway.
  • The number of vacant dwellings has fallen by 29,889 (13.8%) and now stands at 259,562. The vacancy rate has also fallen to 12.8 per cent. Within this the number of holiday homes has increased marginally between 2011 and 2016, from 59,395 to 61,204. While the overall number of holiday homes increased only slightly (up 1,809) there was a noticable increase in the number of vacant holiday homes in Dublin City Centre up from 322 in 2011 to 937 in 2016, an increase of 190 per cent.
  • While most counties experienced some level of population growth three counties witnessed population decline over the five years, namely Donegal (-1.5%), Mayo (-0.2%) and Sligo (-0.1%). Three other counties grew by less than 1 per cent, namely South Tipperary which increased by .72 per cent, Roscommon by .58 per cent and Leitrim which grew by just .55 per cent. 
  • The five cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford have all grown faster than their surrounding counties. The population of Dublin has increased to 1,345,402.
  • After falling during the previous inter-censal period of 2006 to 2011 by -0.2 per cent, Cork City has grown by 5.4 per cent compared with 4.2 per cent for the county; Galway City has increased by 5.3 per cent, far stronger than the county which is showing an increase of 2.2 per cent, while Waterford City has seen growth of 3.5 per cent compared with only 1.4 per cent for the county.  
  • The figures show a population decline along the western seaboard that contrasts with the strong population increases that are evident in the east of the country and around the cities.
  • Seven of the ten fastest growing Electoral Districts (EDs) are located in Dublin with Blanchardstown-Blakestown in Fingal showing the largest increase with 2,867 persons over the five years. Other areas showing large increases are the EDs of Glencullen and Lucan-Esker. 

To view and download the results visit http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cpr/censusofpopulation2016-preliminaryresults/


Kirsty McDonnell
Office Administrator, Membership Coordinator