IrelandCensus 2022

Census 2022 results: fewer Catholics, more home-working, a larger older population - what the data shows

It is the first time in 171 years that Ireland’s population exceeded the five million threshold


Hello and welcome to our coverage of Census 2022. A fresh picture of Ireland has emerged today with a huge volume of data published by the Central Statistics Office highlighting a growing and an ageing population which is more diverse than ever with a sharp fall in the numbers professing to be Catholic. We have all the details here.


And here are the top lines from Census 2022

  • It is the first time in 171 years that Ireland’s population exceeded the five million threshold. There were 5,149,139 people in the State on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, an 8 per cent increase since April 2016.
  • The average age of the population increased from 37.4 in 2016 to 38.8 in 2022, compared with 36.1 in 2011.
  • The number of people with dual Irish citizenship was 170,597, which represents a 63 per cent increase from 2016.
  • There was a drop from 87 per cent to 83 per cent in the proportion of people who reported their health was good or very good since 2016.
  • Approximately a third of all workers (747,961 people) worked from home for at least some part of their week.
  • The proportion of the population who identified Roman Catholic as their religion fell from 79 per cent in 2016 to 69 per cent in 2022.
  • More than 700,000 people indicated that they undertook voluntary work, and of those, nearly 300,000 people volunteered in a sporting organisation.
  • Almost 80 per cent of households had a broadband internet connection in 2022 up from 71 per cent in 2016.


And with that, my brief command of the Census ship has ended. Thanks again to Conor Pope for his sterling work earlier on today and to all our readers for sticking with us. For a condensed version of the day’s events you’ll find the major points in Ronan McGreevy’s story here.

Until the next one!


In other findings for households, almost 80 per cent of residential dwellings had a broadband connection. This is up from 71 per cent in 2016 and 64 per cent in 2011.

The Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area had the highest level of connectivity at 91 per cent while Longford had the lowest at 72 per cent.


Property adviser Savills Ireland has said the Census 2022 data shows a significant shift towards shared accommodation in the country. It says some 453,000 new homes would be needed to help alleviate crowded households and bring Ireland in line with the average European household size.

“The narrative that we are building too much private rented stock at the expense of other forms of housing does not stand up to scrutiny,” Savills director of research John Ring said.

“We know anecdotally that we have a particular shortage of one and two bedroom sized units – unit sizes that are typically delivered for the private rented sector – and the Census data backs up this assertion.”


Ireland has a long history of people giving up their time for nothing to help their community. The latest figures show that as of April 2022, 711,379 people reported they regularly engage in helping or voluntary work without pay in one or more of five different activities.

Men were more likely to volunteer in a sporting organisation while women were more likely to take part in a voluntary activity for their community. Comparisons to the last time a question on volunteering was asked in the Census in 2006 were omitted due to a change in how the question was asked and because the 2006 question only applied to people aged over 15.


Politicians in all parties have been fixated on the census results since the first headline figures were released a year ago, writes our Political Editor Pat Leahy in his in-depth analysis on the Census findings and the challenges they present to current and future governments.

A rising population means more and/or bigger Dáil constituencies and more seats. TDs in all parties and none are anxiously awaiting the boundary revisions from the new Electoral Commission, currently being worked on and expected to be disclosed this summer.

The commission said on Tuesday it had received more than 550 submissions advocating boundary changes. TDs know that decisions made on boundary revisions – to increase the number of seats in a constituency from four to five maybe, or split it in two and move from one five-seater to two three-seaters – could have a make-or-break effect on their chances of election.

But while the census data revealed in today’s publication by the Central Statistics Office certainly shows there are electoral challenges and opportunities for politicians and parties, its real message is that the governments of this country over the coming decades – however they are constituted – face long-term time bombs unless they plan now for a growing population and a changing society.

Read the full story here


Green Party representatives Marc Ó Cathasaigh and Róisín Garvey have called the Census 2022 figures on the Irish language “an opportunity to be grasped” for people to engage with it.

Don’t forget, a summary report of the findings shows the number of people who indicated that they could speak Irish increased by 6 per cent between 2016 and last year to 1.9 million, or 40 per cent of the population aged three or more, even if a smaller number have said they can speak it “very well”.

“There are so many ways to reignite your relationship with the Irish language, from ciorcal cómhrá to classes to just switching the dial on the radio,” Mr Ó Cathasaigh said.


Good evening folks, a huge thanks to my colleague Conor Pope for his work on today’s coverage. We’re now on the home-straight as we continue analyse the details of the latest Census results.


Right so, my day has been filled up by census but now it is the turn of my lovely colleague Glen Murphy to take over this live story. You are in the safest of hands.


Ready to be force fed? Okay. One of the more, um, quirky findings of the latest Census is that 1,800 people identified themselves as Jedi Knights. While that may seem like a lot, it is actually a fall of 250 on the 2016 figure.


More on Ireland losing its religion, this time from Atheists Ireland.

The fall off in people aligning themselves to a particular faith “continues a consistent pattern of Irish society becoming more pluralist, and the need for a secular state to protect everyone’s rights. In particular, we must remove Church control of state-funded schools, and allow conscientious atheists to become President, judge, or Taoiseach, Michael Nugent of AI said.


We’re older ... we’re more diverse ... and we’re less religious. Ronan McGreevy breaks down some more of the numbers.


Emmet Malone has been looking in more detail at the remote working stats and what they might mean.

“The enormous growth in the number of people found to have been still remote working at the time of last April’s census has been described by advocacy group Grow Remote as evidence that the phenomenon was more than just a reaction to the pandemic,” he writes.

“It’s great to see,” says Grow Remote’s Transformation Manager Joanne Mangan. “It looks like remote working is starting to stick. It’s not just a response to the pandemic, it’s continuing post pandemic, that’s really positive.”

Ms Mangan says she recognises the very different extents to which the option of remote working is available across different sector but suggests the 64 per cent of customer service staff, almost 20,000 people who said they worked remotely at least one day a week, was particularly encouraging.

“Of course, there are some jobs that just cannot be done remotely,” she says. “You can’t nurse remotely. Teaching remotely was a big thing during the pandemic but it was quite challenging for teachers and educators. So there are certain sectors and certain jobs that remote working is never really going to fit on a full-time basis, just in terms of the practical way the job has to be done or because it has to be done in person; that’s a fact that isn’t easy to get around.

“But there are lots of positives in this data in terms of the number of people who are working remotely and one of the really interesting things I think is the very high percentage of people in customer service roles who are working full-time remotely.

“We often hear remote working just for tech or other very highly paid workers customer service role tends to be a more entry level role, a more junior role that can get eventually get you into something else if you’re in the right organisation.

So I think that goes against this idea that remote working is only for the privileged. There’s no denying there are jobs where remote working won’t be possible and I don’t think that’s really going to change but this demonstrates that there are roles too where the potential to work remotely is being demonstrated.”


Interesting release just landed from property company Savills.

It notes that the average household size in Ireland remains at 2.74, “noticeably exceeding the European average of 2.2″,

It says that despite “a minor dip from 2.75 in 2016, the number has essentially stagnated, due largely to the scarcity of new housing supply”.

It also points to “a considerable shift towards shared accommodation, with an additional 52,328 households living in some form of shared housing”.

This represents what the company describes as “a staggering 32 per cent increase since 2016, and this shift has directly influenced the average household size, effectively holding it steady since 2016. The lack of new housing on the market has been instrumental in causing this shift, underlining the pressing need for new residential development.”

According to Savills calculations, 453,000 new homes would need to be delivered to bring Ireland in line with the European average and alleviate crowded households.


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he acknowledges that home ownership has fallen in recent years but that around 400 people are buying their first home every week.

Mr Varadkar said there has been a “very significant uptick” in the number of people buying their first home, the highest since the Celtic Tiger period.

The Taoiseach was responding to Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns during Leaders’ Questions on Tuesday, who pointed to the latest Census figures which showed the rate of home ownership fell from nearly 70 per cent in 2016 to 66 per cent last year.

Sarah Burns has the full story


A “dramatic increase” in people turning away from religion and an “accelerating rate of decline in Catholicism” suggests Ireland has “changed considerably” in recent years, according to the Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI).

Pointing to Census data which suggests that people identifying with ‘No religion’ increased by 57 per cent from 468,421 in 2016 to 736,210 in 2022, the association said non-religious people now represent 14 per cent of the total population.

The number of people ticking ‘Catholic’ has fallen most steeply, from 78.3 per cent to 69 per cent.

“This data shows that Irish society has changed considerably, and the State must pay attention to this. Yet, non-religious people continue to face discrimination in areas like education, school patronage and the provision of pastoral support in hospitals, prisons and the defence forces, according to the HAI.

It said the census figures “should serve as a wake-up call to the State which has an obligation to ensure equal treatment for all its citizens”.

The HAI ran a “Mark No Religion” campaign ahead of Census 2022, urging those who do not have a religion or who no longer practice a religion to mark “No Religion” on the Census form.

The HAI CEO Jillian Brennan noted at the time that it was the only way to ensure a fairer representation and a greater voice for the non-religious when key policy decisions such as the allocation of resources and funding were being made.


The number of non-Irish citizens usually resident in Ireland increased in 2022 and now accounts for 12 per cent of the population. Kitty Holland has the full story


7,052,314 ... That is an important number today. While understandably, much of the conversation about Census 2022 is how the population of the Republic of Ireland has breached 5 million, when the census figures published today are added to the census figures from Northern Ireland the barrier breached is actually seven million. It is still a long way adrift of what it was before the famine mind you when more than eight million people lived on the island.







As you might imagine, there has been a lot of talk about the Census on social media. So stand by for a flavour of what’s been said.


Emmet Malone’s report on working from home and the Census has gone live now.


More from Kitty Holland ... this time looking at housing and the environment.

It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to learn that houses built since 2016 are more fire-safe and environmentally sustainable than older homes.

“A question about renewable energy sources, asked for the first time, found nearly quarter of households (23 per cent) said they used renewable energy sources. In houses built since 2016, however, over 70 per cent used at least one renewable energy source, over 40 per cent had heat pumps, and, approximately 30 per cent had solar panels,” Holland writes.

The use of solar panels overall was reported by 6 per cent of households, ranging from 3 per cent in Dublin city to 11 per cent in Meath.

Homes built since 2016 were much more likely to have four or more working smoke alarms compared with older dwellings.

Almost 80 per cent of dwellings had a broadband connection, up from 71 per cent in 2016 and 64 per cent in 2011.

This varied from 91 per cent in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown to 72 per cent in Longford.


Social Affairs Correspondent Kitty Holland has an. update on housing from the Census data. And it makes for pretty depressing reading if you are in the private rental market.

The number of households in the private rented sector increased by seven per cent from 2016 while the proportion owning their own home continued to fall.

According to Census 2022 there are now 330,632 homes rented from private landlords, and the proportion of owner-occupied homes has fallen from almost 70 per cent to 66 per cent, in the 11 years to 2022.

And among renters, those in the private sector have seen the biggest increases in housing costs.

Their average rent went up by 37 per cent in the six years to 2022, to an average of €272.91 per week. In contrast those in local authority housing, with far greater security of tenure, saw their rent increase by just 14 per cent to average €77.92 per week.

The increasing cost of rent in the private sector is seen starkly in figures showing 109,000 households were paying €300 a week or more – more than double the 48,933 that were in 2016.

There were nearly four times as many households paying €400 a week or more in 2022, than there were in 2016.

The number of homes rented from local authorities – ie council homes – increased by seven per cent, to 153,192.

Since 2016 the number of occupied dwellings owned with a mortgage or loan fell by one per cent, though the number of owned outright, ie without a mortgage or loan, increased by 11 per cent.


Our Education Editor Carl O’Brien has some details on the mother tongue.

The number of people who indicated that they could speak Irish has increased but only a very small minority say they speak it “very well”.

According to Census 2022 the number of people who indicated that they could speak Irish increased by 6 per cent between 2016 and 2022 to 1.9 million, or 40 per cent of the population age three or more.

Of the people who said they could speak Irish, almost 624,000 spoke Irish daily within and outside the education system. This accounts for 33 per cent of the Irish speaking population, compared with 36 per cent in 2016.

A total of almost 72,000 of the daily speakers used Irish outside the education system, a fall of 1,835 on the 2016 figure.

The proportion of people speaking Irish weekly and less often remained stable.

Carl’s full story is here.


Here’s the report on religious affiliation from Carl O’Brien, which finds a rise in the number of people with no religion, changing numbers of those who abide by particular creeds and a divide between urban and rural areas in terms of observance.

Counties or local authority areas with the highest proportion of people with no religion were Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (24 per cent), Dublin City Council (23 per cent), Wicklow (20 per cent), Cork city Council (18 per cent) and Fingal (17 per cent).


Health Editor Paul Cullen’s full report on the data related to health and disability is here now.

“The percentage of people reporting their general health status as either very good or good decreased from 87 per cent in 2016 to 83 per cent in 2022. The exception was among over-75s, who reported a small increase in people reporting very good health.”


Here’s a view over time of the economic status of the population by data and design whizz Paul Scott, illustrating the growth in retirees and the decline in numbers who work in the (rather than at) home. Scroll through the main story to see more interactive graphics alongside relevant entries.


And speaking of commuting, Emmet Malone has more on that.

Among the key benefits advocates for working from home cite is the lack of commute and the related issue of being able to sleep a little longer. The census figures highlight the scale of the challenges being faced by the majority who do have to travel to the office, factory or shop.

In just six years, the number of people saying they were leaving for work before 6.30am went up by almost a quarter – 23 per cent – with the number walking out the door between 6.30 and 7am climbed by 47 per cent.

The numbers leaving for work during all the time slots after 8.30am were down.

The average time of commute across all forms of transport was 29 minutes with those driving themselves in the car for just a little short of that.

The longest average commutes were experienced by those taking the train, Dart or Luas at just over 50 minutes while those able to walk to work reported the shortest average journey time at around 15 minutes.


And Emmet Malone has some more detail on the numbers working from home last year.

The news that almost 750,000 people – or 32 per cent of the working population – were doing at least some of their weekly work from home at the time of the Census last year comes as some companies are encouraging a return to the office.

The stark differences between sectors when it comes to who gets to work at home and who doesn’t are underlined by the new figures, however.

Four out of five “business, media and public service professionals” said they spent at least part of their working week at home with the figures for research and tech professionals not far behind at 78 per cent.

Just 22 per cent teachers and 16 per cent of health workers were able to avail of such an option and the figures dropped to 11 per cent for those working in sales and 7 per cent of workers in the building trades sector. Fewer than one in 25 machine operators, meanwhile, are ever in a position to spare themselves a commute.


Emmet Malone has a snapshot of commuting in 2022.

There were big jumps in the numbers of primary and secondary students cycling to and from their schools with the respective figures up 88 per cent and 79 per cent on 2016.

More than half of primary school students, 55 per cent, are still driven to school every day, however, a fact that may be linked to the number of adults driving to and from work which was up by 4 per cent at 1.2 million.

Fewer third level students were cycling or walking to their place of education in 2022 than six years previously.


A fresh line from Health Editor Paul Cullen:

There has been a massive increase in the number of people providing unpaid care – particularly full-time care – since the last Census in 2016.

The number of unpaid carers increased by 53 per cent, to almost 300,000 last year. Almost 87,000 of these were providing at least 43 hours of care a week, up 111 per cent on the last census.

The amount of care provided increased across all age group, but people in their fifties were mostly likely to be providing regular unpaid care.

Mayo had the highest proportion of unpaid carers, at 7 per cent; Dublin city had the lowest, at 5 per cent.


Irish Times Social Affairs Correspondent Kitty Holland has a more detailed assessment of the data.

The number of non-Irish citizens ‘usually resident’ in Ireland increased in 2022 and now account for 12 per cent of the population.

The biggest groups were still Polish and UK citizens followed by Indian, Romanian and Lithuanian.

However, the number of Polish people has fallen significantly, and now stands at fewer than 100,000 with their numbers declining by 24 per cent in six years, from 122,515 to 92,887.

The number of people with UK and Lithuanian citizenship also decreased.

In contrast, the numbers from Indian, Romania and Brazil increased by the biggest numbers since 2016.

There were 18,566 people on Census night who indicated that their country of citizenship was Ukraine. Though there were many more from Ukraine in Ireland a high number indicated Ireland was not their ‘usual residence’ so they were not included in these figures.

The number of people who usually lived in Ireland but were born elsewhere stood at 20 per cent of the population, representing 1,017,437 people and an increase of 207,031 from 2016.

The biggest increases were in numbers born in India (up 35,673), Brazil (23,760) and Romania (13,758).

The number of people born in Syria increased more than four times to 3,922 since 2016; while those born in Chile more than tripled to 1,363.

An expanded number of categories on ethnicity were available on the Census form. A total of 94,434 people identified as Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi; 20,115 identified as Arab and 16,059 as Roma.

The number of usually resident Irish Travellers increased by 6 per cent to 32,949, and numbers identifying as Chinese increased to 26,828.


The figures highlight the ongoing growth in participation by women in the workforce and the decline in the number of women staying at home full-time, writes Emmet Malone

The census found that the total workforce had increased to 2.3 million, up 16 per cent in just six years with the percentage of women involved up slightly at 56 per cent, it was 30 per cent in 1980. The proportion of younger women – aged 25-34 – in the workforce now is far higher again, however, at 83 per cent.

The number of women staying at home full-time to look after the household or family was 245,000, down by 40,000 on the corresponding figure for 2016. The number of men doing so, though far lower, was up by a third to 27,500.

The number of retired people, meanwhile was up by more than a fifth to 21 per cent or 658,000 with women outnumbering men in this category by 342,000 to 316,000.


And Paul Cullen has data on Ireland’s smokers.

Thirteen per cent of the population smoke either daily or occasionally, according to the first ever questions on the topic in a census. Almost one million people (974,145) say they have given up smoking, while 3.1 million say they never smoked.

That leaves nearly 450,000 people who smoke daily and a further 226,500 who smoke occasionally.

Smoking rates were higher among men (15 per cent) than women (11 per cent). People in their twenties and thirties smoke the most; among 15-19 year-olds, 6 per cent smoke.


And we have another update from Ronan McGreevy.

The number of people who are non-Irish citizens or have dual citizenship is now more than 800,000.

The number of non-Irish citizens was 631,785. This is 12 per cent of the usually resident population and an increase of 96,310 on 2016.

The largest population of non-Irish residents are the Poles (15 per cent of all non-residents), the UK (13 per cent), Romania and India (7 per cent) and Brazil (4 per cent). The largest cohort is others which includes Ukrainians who arrived in Ireland after the beginning of the war in February 2022.

The number of people with dual Irish citizenship was 170,597. This is 3 per cent of the usually resident population.


And this has landed from Health Editor Paul Cullen

Irish people tend to come out top in international surveys on the health of citizens, but Census 2022 shows a drop in the proportion of people saying they are in good health.

The percentage of people reporting their general health status as either very good or good decreased from 87 per cent in 2016 to 83 per cent in 2022.

The reduction is most likely due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its side effects since 2020.


This just in from Kitty Holland.

The number of dwellings rented from a private landlord increased by 7 per cent since 2016, to 330,632, while the proportion of owner-occupied homes continued to fall from almost 70 per cent to 66 per cent in the 11 years to 2022.

Renters’ average rent increased by 37 per cent in the six years to 2022, to an average of €272.91 per week, compared with a 14 per cent increase paid by those renting from local authorities, whose rent averaged €77.92 per week.

The number of occupied dwellings increased by 8 per cent between 2016 and 2022 matching the increase in the population.


More details from the Census data as detailed by the CSO

Population Changes

Ireland’s population increased by 8 per cent (387,274 people) to 5,149,139 in the six years between April 2016 and April 2022. All counties showed population growth from 5 per cent in Donegal, Kilkenny, and Tipperary, to 14 per cent in Longford. The east of the country showed strong growth with Meath at 13 per cent, followed by Fingal (12 per cent) and Kildare (11 per cent).

Population by Age and Sex

The highest increase in population was seen in the over 70s at 26 per cent while there was a 4 per cent fall in the numbers of people aged 25 to 39. The average age of the population increased from 37.4 in 2016 to 38.8 in 2022 continuing the ageing population trend from 2011 when it was 36.1.

There were 2,544,549 males and 2,604,590 females in the country which is 98 males for every 100 females.


Irish and dual-Irish citizens made up 84 per cent of the population. The number of non-Irish citizens increased since 2016 and now stands at 631,785, which represents 12 per cent of Ireland’s usual resident population. The number of people who recorded dual Irish citizenship was 170,597, representing a 63 per cent increase from 2016.

General Health

The proportion of people who reported their general health status as either very good or good fell from 87 per cent to 83 per cent between 2016 and 2022. Apart from those aged 75 years and over, all other age groups reported a shift from good to less good health. In 2022, 52 per cent of people aged 35 to 39 reported very good health, compared with 61 per cent in 2016.


The number of people who reported experiencing at least one long-lasting condition or difficulty to a great extent or a lot was 407,342 (8 per cent of the population). A further 702,215 (14 per cent of the population) reported a long-lasting condition or difficulty to some extent or a little.


The number of unpaid carers increased by 53 per cent to more than 299,000 between 2016 and 2022. There were increases in the proportion of the population providing unpaid care across most age groups. People aged between 50 and 59 were the group most likely to be providing regular unpaid care. It should be noted that there were a number of changes to the question on unpaid carers on the 2022 census form which may affect comparability with the previous census.

Marital Status

Single people aged 15 and over made up 43 per cent of Ireland’s population, compared with 41 per cent in 2016. There were more single men (52 per cent) than women (48 per cent). Married people, including those who were remarried, and people in a same-sex civil partnership, accounted for 46 per cent of the population aged 15 years and over, down from 48 per cent six years ago.


In April 2022, 711,379 people reported that they regularly engaged in volunteering activities. The largest numbers of volunteers were in Sport followed by Community, Social/Charity, Religious and Political areas. Males were most likely to volunteer in a sporting organisation while females were more likely to volunteer in their community.

Childcare (under the age of 15)

Just under one in three children under the age of 15 were in childcare in 2022. The most common type of childcare used was a creche or a similar facility. These provided care to 139,899 children in April 2022. The second most common type of childcare was provided by an unpaid relative or family member to 92,118 children.


There was a fall in the proportion of the population who identified as Roman Catholic from 3,696,644 (79 per cent) in 2016 to 3,515,861 (69 per cent) in 2022. The No Religion category increased from 451,941 people to 736,210. The Church of Ireland category showed little change but remained the second largest religious category with 124,749 people (2 per cent).


The proportion of owner-occupied dwellings continued to fall, down from almost 70 per cent to 66 per cent in the 11 years from Census 2011 to 2022. The number of households who rented their accommodation from a private landlord rose by 7 per cent to 330,632 between April 2016 and April 2022.

Working from Home

Nearly 750,000 people, a third of workers, indicated that they worked from home for at least some part of their week. Four out of five business, media and public service professionals availed of home working. The proportion of workers in the science, research, engineering and technology professionals group who ever worked from home was also high at 78 per cent.


Almost 80 per cent of households had a broadband internet connection in 2022 up from 71 per cent in 2016 and 64 per cent in 2011.


The number of people who drove to work increased by 4 per cent to 1.2 million between 2016 and 2022. There was a 7 per cent increase in the number of people who cycled to work, bringing the number to more than 60,000. There were 4 per cent fewer people commuting to work by train, Luas or Dart.

Time Capsule

Of the 1.8 million occupied private households enumerated during Census 2022, 348,443 (19 per cent) completed the Time Capsule. The completion rate by county ranged from 16 per cent to 21 per cent


Ronan McGreevy has the first line from the official Census data ...

“There has been a huge fall off in just six years in those claiming to be Roman Catholic. The percentage has fallen from 79 per cent in 2016 to 69 per cent in 2022. Those with no religion increased from 10 per cent in 2016 to 14 per cent in 2022.

Approximately one third of all workers, 747,961 work from home some of the week.

The average age of the population increased from 37.4 in 2016 to 38.8 in 2022.

The number of people with dual Irish citizenship was 179,597 which represents a 63 per cent increase on 2016 reflecting the impact of Brexit.


Before we start with the numbers some facts from the CSO which has a helpful history of Censuses (Censi??).

They have been taking place since God was a child – (almost) literally. The first known census was conducted nearly 6000 years ago by the Babylonians in 3800 BC.

The oldest existing census world comes from China during the Han Dynasty and dates back to 2AD. It recorded the population as 59.6 million

The word census comes from the Latin word ‘censere’ which means ‘estimate’.

The first full census of Ireland was taken in 1821.

The first big modern census, using a household form, was the so-called Great Census of 1841, according to the CSO.

Sir William Wilde – Oscar’s dad – was a Census Commissioner for the 1851, 1861 and 1871 censuses

The 1926 census was the first undertaken following the formation of the State and censuses continued to be taken at ten year intervals up to 1946.

Commencing in 1951, censuses have generally been undertaken at five yearly intervals.


Ever wondered what the Census is actually for? Well, the peerless West Wing had a 23 second explanation more than 20 years ago that stands up today ... it’s a bit American but you’ll get the point.


Before we get to the numbers, you might spare a thought for the men and women who walked the streets, roads and laneways of Ireland in 2022 handing out and then collecting forms. More than 5,000 enumerators were recruited to deliver and collect Census 2022 forms to over two million households. It was a tough job but made tougher still for the 50 or so enumerators who were bitten by dogs as they went about their business.


Eh, fun fact time. The census is normally taken every five years but the record-collecting was postponed in 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.


So, what do we know so far? Well officially nothing as the 11am release of all the data is set in stone. We did, however, get some preliminary numbers a few months back.

As of April 3rd last year, the State’s population had risen to 5.12 million, up 361,671 or 8 per cent over the previous six years..

The highest population growth was recorded in Leinster, concentrated in Dublin and the surrounding counties, though Longford – the second least populated county in the State – recorded the biggest percentage increase of 14.1 per cent in the six years, followed by Meath.