Three-fifths live in urban areas

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Three-fifths of the State's population now lives in urban areas that take up just 2.4 per cent of the country’s land mass, according to a further breakdown of Census 2011 statistics released by the CSO today. 

Click here to view interactive population tables

Population density has increased across the country from 62 people per square kilometre in 2006 to 67 people per square kilometre in 2011.

However, although there are just 26 people per square kilometre in rural areas this figure shoots to 1,736 people per square kilometre in urban areas. In Dublin city and suburbs that number increases further to 3,498 people per square kilometre.

The statistics also reveal almost one-third of people who were born outside of Ireland but are living here reside in Co Dublin. They make up one in five of the population of Co Dublin.

However, the capital is not the most international city in Ireland: this distinction is held by Galway city, where one in four of the resident population was born outside Ireland.

The position of largest town in Ireland has been retained by Drogheda with a population of 38,578, meaning the Louth town remains Ireland’s (and so Leinster’s) largest, having taken the title from Dundalk back in 2006.

Elsewhere, Ennis remains the largest town in Munster with a population of 25,360; Letterkenny is the largest town in the three counties of Ulster that are part of the Republic of Ireland; and Sligo is the largest town in Connacht with a population of 19,452.

Saggart in south Dublin is Ireland’s fastest-growing town, having seen a 150 per cent jump between 2006, when the population stood at 868, and 2011 when 2,144 people were recorded as living in the town.

Co Leitrim is the country’s most rural county with 90 per cent of the population living in a rural setting.

Meanwhile, 114,617 households moved home in the year leading up to April 2011, a fall of 21 per cent on the same figure in 2006.

A large percentage of those who moved in this time – or 80 per cent – are now renting. At the same time there was a huge slump in the number of people who moved into a new home that they owned. Just 13 per cent, or 14,707 households, moved to homes they owned.

Highlights of the report - Population density in Ireland

67 people per square kilometre: The population density for the State in 2011 compared to 62 people per square kilometre in 2006

1,736: the number of people per square kilometre in urban areas.

26: the number of people per square kilometre in rural areas.

2.4 per cent: the percentage of total land area occupied by 62 per cent of the population (ie urban dwellers).

38,578: The population of Drogheda, Ireland’s (and Leinster’s) largest town.

25,360: The population of Ennis, the largest town in Munster.

19,588: The population of Letterkenny was the largest town in the three counties of Ulster which are part of the Republic of Ireland.

19,452: The population of Sligo, the largest town in Connacht.

150 per cent: The rate of growth in population in Saggart, South Dublin, Ireland’s fastest growing town between 2006 (when the population stood at 868 people) and 2011 (recorded at 2,144 people).

One in four: The amount of people living in Galway city who were born outside the State, making Galway the most international of Ireland’s five cities.

273,000: the number of Irish residents who moved in the year leading up to April 2011, a fall of 15 per cent on the same figure in 2006.

14,739: The number of people over the age of one who moved out of Co Dublin in the year leading up to Census 2011 - Kildare was the most common destination.

Interactive population tables

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