The population of Ireland has reached the highest levels since the Famine of 1845–1852, according to the latest figures from the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO).
It is the highest the population has ever been since Ireland became independent from Britain.
Census data that was collected in April 2022 shows that Ireland’s population has reached 5.1 million.
That is a 7.6% increase since 2016, when the last census was held.
The total increase was 361,671, which is made up of natural increase of births minus deaths of 171,338 and net inward migration of 190,333.
It is the first time the population has been above 5 million since 1851, but there is still a very long way to go for the population to reach pre-Famine levels.
The Famine in the mid-1800s was devastating to Ireland’s population, which at the time had a population of 8.1 million.
The 1841 census showed that the 26 counties that are now the modern Republic of Ireland had a population of 6.5 million, while the six counties that are currently Northern Ireland had a 1.6 million population.
During the Famine around one million people died and a further two million emigrated to countries all over the world including the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Given that Ireland was under British rule at the time of the Famine, the new population figure is the highest ever for an independent Ireland.
Cormac Halpin, senior statistician in the CSO’s census division, said: “The results provide valuable initial insights into how our population and housing situation is changing and developing since Census 2016.
“We are busy working on the completed census forms and look forward to begin sharing the full set of detailed results from April next year.”
Earlier this year, the results of the UK census of 2021, revealed that Northern Ireland’s population was 1.9 million, which is the highest figure ever recorded for the six counties.
More popular articles and videos
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling