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26 Jun 2022

County with largest population growth revealed as Irish inhabitants hit 5.1 million

County with largest population growth revealed as Irish inhabitants hit 5.1 million

The population of the Republic of Ireland increased by 7.6% between 2016 and 2022 to 5.1 million people, the preliminary results of Census 2022 show.

All counties in the Republic of Ireland saw their population increase, with Longford showing the highest percentage increase. 

The numbers living in the State rose to 5,123,536 people on census night on 3 April, according to the Central Statistics Office figures.

This is the highest population recorded in a census since 1841 and the first time the population exceeded 5 million since 1851.


All counties show population growth since 2016.

Longford saw biggest percentage increase (+14.1%), followed by Meath (+12.9%).

In the six years between Census 2016 and Census 2022, there was net inward migration of more than 190,000 people. 

The housing stock in the country increased to 2.1m (+6%)

Vacant dwellings (excluding holiday homes) fell to 166,752 (-9%)

Commenting on the release, Cormac Halpin, Senior Statistician in the Census Division, said: “The Preliminary Results show a population of 5,123,536 on Census night. This is an increase of 7.6% since 2016. It is also the highest population recorded in a census since 1841.

"There were 2,593,600 females and 2,529,936 males recorded, which is an increase of 7.7% and 7.5% respectively. The population increase of 361,671 was made up of a natural increase (births minus deaths) of 171,338 and estimated net inward migration (population change minus natural increase) of 190,333.

"The counties recording the highest population growth were in Leinster. Longford grew by more than 14%, with Meath, Kildare, and Fingal, also growing strongly. In contrast to Census 2016, when three counties (Mayo, Sligo, and Donegal) had a fall in their population, the Preliminary Results show that the population of every county has increased since 2016. In Leinster, 10 of the 12 counties showed a higher percentage increase than the national average, with Offaly (+6.0%), and Kilkenny (+4.5%), being lower.

"In Munster, Waterford (+9.4%) had a higher percentage increase than that of the State overall. Both Leitrim (+9.5%) and Roscommon (+8.4%) showed a higher percentage increase than the national rate, while Cavan, Donegal, or Monaghan did not,” he said.

Mr Halpin stated that the Preliminary Results also provide initial figures on the country’s housing stock. “The Preliminary Results show that the total housing stock on 03 April 2022 was 2,124,590, an increase of 6.0% on the 2016 figure. There were 16,560 fewer vacant dwellings (-9.0%) in 2022 compared to 2016. This does not include holiday homes, of which there were 66,135, compared with 62,148 in 2016.

Mr Halpin added: “The publication of these Preliminary Results, less than 12 weeks after Census night, is only possible thanks to the commitment and dedication of both our census field staff and the permanent census staff in Swords, as well as the continued support for the census from the public.

"The CSO would like to thank both the staff involved in the census for their hard work, and the public for their overwhelmingly positive response to and engagement with our national census.

"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,” Mr Halpin said. 

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