Population could be over 5 million in 2031

CSO population projections indicate population of Dublin could rise by 14,000 per year

The population of Dublin could increase by 14,000 per year; and a greater proportion of people will live in the greater Dublin area (Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow) with proportionately fewer living in the other regions.

The population of Dublin could increase by 14,000 per year; and a greater proportion of people will live in the greater Dublin area (Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow) with proportionately fewer living in the other regions.

Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 01:00

Population projections released by the CSO yesterday indicate that there could be over 5 million people living here in 2031.

The population of Dublin could increase by 14,000 per year; and a greater proportion of people will live in the greater Dublin area (Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow) with proportionately fewer living in the other regions.

“The report is not an attempt to predict the future, but rather presents how the population will evolve under different scenarios by making assumptions about future trends in migration and fertility,” the CSO noted.

The figures cited above are contained in one such scenario, the “M2F2 Traditional” variant, a projection which is based on steadily falling fertility and the assumption that, by 2016, we will have returned to the traditional patterns of internal migration experienced in 1996.

Under this scenario the overall population would increase by 613,101 by 2031 with 42 per cent of people living in the greater Dublin area compared to 39.2 per cent today. Dublin would absorb an extra 257,000 people between now and 2031, or over 14,000 people per annum.

However, the largest jump in population would be in the mid-east (Kildare, Meath, Wicklow) where the population would grow by 144,170 over the next 18 years, a 27 per cent increase on the current population.

The six regions outside the greater Dublin area would also witness a population increase. However these regions would lose part of their population to migration, mostly through inward migration to the greater Dublin area.

So for example the Border region - made up of Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan, Sligo - would witness a natural increase (births minus deaths) of almost 50,000 people between now and 2031. However, it would lose over 31,000 of these to migration meaning its population would grow by just 18,000, or 3.5 per cent between now and 2031.

Similarly the population in the West (Galway, Mayo, Roscommon) would grow by over 30,000 through natural increase but it will only keep half that figure with the rest lost to migration.

The CSO concedes that there are limitations to the data, especially when it comes to regional data, projections for which “must be regarded as somewhat tentative”.

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