Have you ever wondered how people in your local area might support a new business idea? Or how many people of your own age live near you?
Key information for people locating to new areas or doing all kinds of research can be found in detailed data on every local area in the State published on Thursday by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The Small Area Population Statistics allow people search by Eircode to gather information on a wide range of topics from broadband access to family size, housing, commuting patterns, numbers working from home, marital status, Irish language usage and levels of volunteering in the locality.
The data, compiled from the results of the April 2022 census, can be viewed online through interactive tables and a searchable map of Ireland.
The tools can be used to help make comparisons and trace patterns in communities across the country.
The data is broken down into eight geographical area types, enabling viewing by province, town, local authority area or electoral area.
To see hyper-local results, users can choose from the 18,919 small areas, which generally cover between 60 and 120 households, the CSO said.
Statistician Cormac Halpin said the information is the most detailed breakdown of data that has been produced from the most recent census.
It is an “important national resource” that enables individuals to learn more about the features of their local area, he said, adding that it is “easily accessible and freely available for all to use”.
Mr Halpin said state and other agencies might use the data to assess the viability of new services, such as schools. Communities can strengthen their case in pursuit of additional services, “whether that is for child-minding facilities, youth services or elderly support”.
Businesses may turn to the resource to understand population breakdowns when determining the optimum place to set up, he said.
“This could be a bike shop hoping to expand into a new area, a local transport operator assessing the viability of a new bus service, or a local business wanting data on the household composition of the area. Census small area data can help inform these types of decisions,” he said.
“It really informs and empowers people in terms of the profile of the area they might invest in,” he said.
Some of the information might be slightly skewed, as the figures relate specifically to people who were in a given place on the night of the census, regardless of where they might normally reside.
The 2022 interactive map shows, for instance, that 34 of Buncrana’s 6,971 residents commute to work or school by bicycle, while 21 households own four or more cars.
There are 226 people who work from home in the Donegal town, while 890 volunteer in some capacity.
Meanwhile, 4,364 people in Co Mayo are divorced and Catholics make up 80 per cent of the population of Templemichael, Co Longford.
Mr Halpin said the database, available on the CSO website, is part of a “massive” multiyear project and would not be possible if members of the public did not complete their census forms.
Statisticians spend years parsing through the census results and preparation is already under way for the next questionnaires, which are due to be distributed in 2027, he said.