Level of smoking falls to 9%, CSO lifestyle study finds

Ireland Yearbook 2021 finds civil marriages now more popular than Catholic weddings

Smoking is more prevalent in the non-Irish national community than for Irish nationals, the CSO said.

Smoking is more prevalent in the non-Irish national community than for Irish nationals, the CSO said.


Lifestyles in Ireland continue to change, the Ireland Yearbook 2021 from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows.

Men are getting married later in life, with the average age of a groom last year coming in at 37.8 years. This was significantly up on the average in 1970 (27.7 years) and 1980 (26.5). There has been a similar trend among women, with the average bride aged 35.7 last year, compared to 25.1 in 1970 and 24.4 in 1980.

Religious ceremonies continue to account for the highest proportion of opposite-sex marriages at 51.4 per cent, down from 60.2 per cent in 2019.

However, civil marriage ceremonies (40.1 per cent of all opposite-sex marriages) were more common than weddings in any individual church, with the Catholic Church now hosting just over one third of weddings (35.8 per cent).

For same-sex marriages, a significant majority (72.6 per cent of 228) of couples last year opted for civil services, while 12.1 per cent were married by the Humanist Association of Ireland.

The report shows Irish people’s smoking habits have also changed, with fewer than one in 10 lighting up daily. Smoking is more prevalent among non-Irish nationals (17 per cent) than Irish nationals (9 per cent). The CSO said comparable figures from 2015 show 22 per cent of the population smoked, with Irish and non-Irish nationals not separated in the older data set.

Smoking rates were highest in the 25-34 age group, with 14 per cent of this cohort smoking daily. Members of this age group were also most likely to drink alcohol, with 87 per cent answering “yes” when asked if they drank.

By contrast, just 56 per cent of people aged 75 and over said they drank, with just 4 per cent saying they smoked daily.

The population

The CSO also noted that the Irish population had passed the five million mark for the first time since the time of the Great Famine. The population was estimated to be 5.01 million in April, while it was 5.11 million in 1851.

Elsewhere, Grace pipped Fiadh to the most popular baby name for girls. Jack retained the top spot as the most popular boy’s name. The top three surnames for babies born were Murphy at 602 (1.1 per cent), Kelly at 523 (0.9 per cent) and O’Brien at 467 (0.8 per cent).

Ireland’s population has broken the five-million barrier
Ireland’s population has broken the five-million barrier

Births to teenage mothers continued to decrease, with 830 births to women under 20 recorded last year, compared to 1,199 in 2015.

The CSO said 1,101 breaches of Covid-19 regulations were classified as crime incidents by An Garda Síochána last year. These included breaches of regulations on domestic travel restrictions, licensed premises, wearing of face coverings and international travel.

Of those young people who moved back with their parents since the onset of the pandemic, 22 per cent said their relationship with their father had improved and 31 per cent said they were getting on better with their mothers.

The pandemic also had an impact on crime, burglary and related offences (down by 5,810, or 34.7 per cent) as people stayed at home more.