Catholic Ireland: 1932 versus 2012


How many Catholics?

2011 84.2%Proportion of the population – or 3,861,300 people – who said they were Catholic in the 2011 census

1930s 93.5%Proportion of the population – or 2,773,920 people – who said they were Catholic in the 1936 census

1920s 92.6%Proportion of the population – or 2,751,269 people – who said they were Catholic in the 1926 census

LOUGH DERG:1952 was the most successful year, with 34,645 pilgrims. A one-day retreat that Lough Derg introduced in 1992 may account for some of the reduction in numbers. About 4,000 people went that year. After reaching 12,645 in 2000, numbers have dropped; last year 8,321 people went on the one-day retreat

Numbers going on the island’s three-day pilgrimage





KNOCK SHRINEThe advent of the car saw a big increase in visitors to the Marian shrine in Co Mayo. Judging by inquiries, the shrine expects an increase in group visitor numbers of up to 3,000 in the week before and the week after this month’s Eucharistic congress. Individual visitors will further boost these figures

1930s250,000-300,000 a year

20111.6 million

Sex before marriage: Always wrong?

1970s 71%Percentage of respondents who said yes in 1973-74

2000s 6%Percentage of respondents who said yes in 2004-05

Ireland in churches

1930s 2,473Number of Catholic churches in Ireland’s 26 dioceses (covering 32 counties) in 1932

1960s 2,534Number of Catholic churches in Ireland’s 26 dioceses in 1964

2010s 2657Number of Catholic churches in Ireland’s 26 dioceses in 2011

Sources: Central Statistics Office; Irish Catholic Directory; Department of Education; Families in Ireland

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.