Demographics of the Republic of Ireland
|Demographics of Ireland|
Population of what is now the Republic of Ireland, since 1841
|Population||4,757,976 (2016 census)|
|Density||68 per km2|
|Birth rate||13.7 births/1,000 population|
|Death rate||6.5 deaths/1,000 population|
|Life expectancy||80.19 years|
|• male||78 years|
|• female||82.6 years|
|Fertility rate||1.91 children born/woman|
|Infant mortality rate||3.85 deaths/1,000 live births|
|Net migration rate||0.86 migrant(s)/1,000 population|
|65 and over||11.7%|
|At birth||1.057 male/female|
|Under 15||1.07 male/female|
|15–64 years||1.00 male/female|
|65 and over||0.81 male/female|
|Major ethnic||Irish 84.5%|
|Minor ethnic||Other White: 9.1% (total White: 94.3%), Asian: 1.9%, Black: 1.4%, Other: 0.9%, Irish Travellers 0.7%, Not Stated: 1.6% (2011)|
|Spoken||Irish Sign Language, Shelta, Ulster Scots|
The Republic of Ireland had a population of 4,757,976 at the 2016 census.
The island of Ireland, throughout most of its history, had a small population, comparable to that of other regions of similar area in Europe. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, Ireland experienced a major population boom as a result of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. In the 50-year period 1790-1840, the population of the island doubled from 4 million to 8 million. At its peak, Ireland's population density was similar to that of England and continental Europe.
This changed dramatically with the Great Famine of the mid-19th century, which led to mass starvation and consequent mass emigration. In the area covering the present day Republic of Ireland, the population reached about 6.5 million in the mid 1840s. Ten years later it was down to 5 million. The population continued a slow decline well into the 20th century, with the Republic recording a low of 2.8 million in the 1961 census.
During the 1960s, the population started to grow once more, although slowly as emigration was still common. In the 1990s the country entered a period of rapid growth as a result of the Celtic Tiger Irish economic boom. Immigration began to far outweigh emigration. Many former Irish emigrants returned home, and the Republic of Ireland became an attractive destination for immigrants, mainly from Central Europe, but also from Africa, Asia and elsewhere. However, with the 2008 onset of the Irish economic and banking crisis, the state's economy suffered, and since then the Republic of Ireland has once again been experiencing net emigration.
In November 2013, Eurostat reported that the republic had the largest net emigration rate of any member state, at 7.6 emigrants per 1,000 population. However, it has the youngest population of any European Union member state and its population size is predicted to grow for many decades, in contrast with the declining population predicted for most European countries. A report published in 2008 predicted that the population would reach 6.7 million by 2060. The Republic has also been experiencing a baby boom, with increasing birth rates and overall fertility rates. Despite this, the total fertility rate is still below replacement depending on when the measurement is taken. The Irish fertility rate is still the highest of any European country . This increase is significantly fuelled by non-Irish immigration – in 2009, a quarter of all children born in the Republic were born to mothers who had immigrated from other countries.
Ethnic groups and immigration
The Irish Travellers are an indigenous minority ethnic group, formally recognised by the Irish State since March 1st 2017.
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.
Ireland contains several immigrant communities, especially in Dublin. The most common foreign nationalities include Polish, British, Lithuanian, Latvian and Nigerian.
There is only genetic evidence for pre-Celtic migration into Ireland. The Irish people may therefore be described as strongly influenced by Celtic language and traditions but the Irish population is not mainly of Celtic origin.
|Life in Ireland|
Current natural growth
- Births from January–March 2017 =
- Births from January–March 2018 =
- Deaths from January–March 2017 =
- Deaths from January–March 2018 =
- Natural growth from January–March 2017 =
- Natural growth from January–March 2018 =
|Period||Life expectancy in
|Period||Life expectancy in|
- 4,757,976 (2016 census)
- 0–14 years: 21.3% (male: 501,189; female: 478,401) (2011)
- 15–64 years: 67.0% (male: 1,558,196; female: 1,545,073) (2011)
- 65 years and over: 11.7% (female: 292,079; male: 243,314) (2011)
- 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)
Infant mortality rate
3.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2013)
Life expectancy at birth
- total population: 80.19 years (2011)
- female: 82.55 years (2011)
- male: 77.96 years (2011)
Total fertility rate
– adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2001 est.) - people living with HIV/AIDS: 6,900 (2008 est.)
- noun: Irishman (men), Irishwoman (women), Irish (collective plural)
- adjective: Irish
Nationalities in the Republic of Ireland
Irish (including dual-Irish/other): 86.9%, UK: 2.5%, Other EU 27: 6.1%, Other Europe: 0.7%, Asia: 1.5%, Africa: 0.9%, USA: 0.2%, Other countries: 0.5%, Multiple nationality: 0.1%, Not stated: 1.2% (2011)
Below are the 14 largest immigrant groups in the Republic of Ireland according to the 2016 census .
|Country of Birth||Immigrants in the Republic of Ireland (2016 Census)|
Irish, with Norse (Scandinavian), Norman, English, French, Scottish, and Welsh, Ulster-Scots and various immigrant populations – the largest immigrant groups, with over 10,000 people, are the British, Croats, Poles, Americans, Lithuanians, Latvians, Germans, Nigerians, Indians, Pakistanis and Chinese.
Ethnic backgrounds: White Irish: 82.2%, White Irish Traveller: 0.7%, Other White: 9.5% (total White: 92.4%), Asian: 2.1%, Black: 1.3%, Other: 1.5%, Not Stated: 2.6% (2016)
The Republic of Ireland is a predominantly Christian country. The majority are Roman Catholic, although parts of County Donegal in Ulster, especially East Donegal and Inishowen, have a significant Protestant minority. However, the number of people who declare themselves Catholic has been declining in recent years and the number of people who are practising Catholics is smaller than the declared number. As of the 2016 census, 78.3% were Catholic, a drop of 5.8% since 2011. Conversely, irreligion has almost doubled since 2011 with 9.8% declaring 'No Religion' in 2016, overtaking Protestantism as the second largest group in the state. The various Protestant and other Christian faiths represent 5.6%, Islam 1.3%, other religions 2.4% and 2.6% gave no answer.
Geographic Population Distribution
- Urban population (areas with >1,500 people): 62.0% (2011)
- Rural population: 38.0% (2011)
English is the most commonly used language, with 94% of the population calling it their mother tongue. Irish is the first official language of the state, with 11% calling it their mother tongue. Irish is the main language of the Gaeltacht regions, where 96,628 people live. Shelta and Ulster Scots are also spoken by small communities, with Ulster Scots being widely spoken in more rural areas of East Donegal and Inishowen. The main sign language used is Irish Sign Language.
- definition: age 15 and over who can read and write
- total population: 99%
- male: 99%
- female: 99% (2003 est.)
- Republic of Ireland Census 2011
- Republic of Ireland
- Northern Ireland
- Irish diaspora
- Irish population analysis
- Stamp 4
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