Census 2022: Population rises above five million for first time since 1851

Preliminary 2022 Census results show population of State increased by 7.6 per cent since 2016

The population of the State has reached 5.1 million, its highest level in a census since 1841, according to the preliminary results of this year’s census from the Central Statistics Office.

There was an increase of 7.6 per cent in the population since the last census in 2016, rising from 4,761,865 people in 2016 to 5,123,536 people on the night of census on April 3rd last.

This is the highest population recorded in a census since 1841 and the first time the population has risen above five million since 1851.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said in a message posted on Twitter that the growth in the population recorded in the census “illustrates the need for continued investment in services such as childcare, education, health and housing to keep pace.”

There was a 7.7 per cent increase in the female population, rising to 2.593 million, and a 7.5 per cent increase in the male population, rising to 2.529 million.

Census 2022 preliminary results - Central Statistics Office infographic. Image: CSO

The population increase consisted of a natural population increase — births minus deaths — of 171,338.

The counties recording the highest population growth were in Leinster.

The results showed all counties experienced population growth since 2016, with Longford recording the biggest percentage increase at 14 per cent, followed by Meath with 12.9 per cent. Three counties — Mayo, Sligo and Donegal — recorded falls in their populations since the 2016 census.

In Leinster, 10 of the 12 counties showed a higher percentage increase than the national average, with the increases in Offaly (6 per cent) and Kilkenny (4.5 per cent) being lower.

In Munster, Waterford recorded a higher percentage increase in its population than the State overall, at 9.4 per cent.

Leitrim and Roscommon also showed a higher percentage increase than the national rate, at 9.5 per cent and 8.4 per cent, respectively, while Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan fell below it.

There was net inward migration of more than 190,000 recorded in the six years between the two censuses. Dublin had the largest level of inward migration with an increase of 46,559 people.

Housing stock increased to 2.1 million, an increase of 6 per cent since 2016. The number of vacant dwellings, excluding holiday homes, fell to 166,752, a decease of 9 per cent.

The vacancy rate stood at 8 per cent. In just over one in five instances where a property was vacant, the reason given for the vacancy was that it was a rental property.

In just over one in 10 cases, the property was for sale or had been sale agreed or recently sold. In the case of 27,489 properties, the reason for vacancy was explained by the fact the owner was deceased.

Galway city and Dublin city had the highest proportions of vacant rental properties, at 38 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively.

In Roscommon, Galway county and Mayo, properties were most often vacant because the owner was dead.

Leitrim and Sligo had the highest number of abandoned farmhouses, accounting for 17 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, of vacant homes.

There were 1.8 million occupied homes in the country.