Ireland’s census report shows 10% reduction in people identifying as Catholic

Ireland’s census report shows 10% reduction in people identifying as Catholic

THERE has been a 10 per cent drop in the number of people identifying as Catholic in Ireland according to figures released today.

Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) released their Census 2022 Summary Results this morning, which detail the population changes in the six years since April 2016.

The figures provide information on a topics including population by age and sex, marital status, citizenship, Irish language, health, carers, foreign languages, religion, and employment.

Among the key findings of the data was a 10 per cent drop in those who identity as Catholics, while those who selected the No Religion category when completing the survey increased from 451,941 people to 736,210.

The figures also show Ireland’s population increased by eight per cent to 5,149,139 people in the six years between April 2016 and April 2022.

Cormac Halpin, Senior Statistician in the CSO’s  Census Division, today thanked the public for taking part in the research by filling in their census form on April 3, 2022.

“The publication of Census 2022 results could not have been achieved without the overwhelmingly positive response from the public and we thank everyone who completed their census form on April 3, 2022,” he said.

Regarding the results, he added: “Today’s publication is the first in a series of reports on Census 2022.

“Throughout the rest of this year, the CSO will publish eight themed reports, exploring a range of topics including housing, homelessness, religion, disability, and carers in greater detail. Small Area Population Statistics (SAPS) will also be published in September.

“The results will provide us with unique and valuable insights into the Ireland that we live in today and will be widely used in the coming years.”

Highlights of the Census 2022 report…

Population Changes

Ireland’s population increased by 8% (387,274 people) to 5,149,139 in the six years between April 2016 and April 2022. All counties showed population growth from 5% in Donegal, Kilkenny, and Tipperary, to 14% in Longford. The east of the country showed strong growth with Meath at 13%, followed by Fingal (12%) and Kildare (11%).

Population by Age and Sex

The highest increase in population was seen in the over 70s at 26% while there was a 4% fall in the numbers of people aged 25 to 39. The average age of the population increased from 37.4 in 2016 to 38.8 in 2022 continuing the aging population trend from 2011 when it was 36.1.

There were 2,544,549 males and 2,604,590 females in the country which is 98 males for every 100 females.


Irish and dual-Irish citizens made up 84% of the population. The number of non-Irish citizens increased since 2016 and now stands at 631,785, which represents 12% of Ireland's usual resident population. The number of people who recorded dual Irish citizenship was 170,597, representing a 63% increase from 2016.


There was a fall in the proportion of the population who identified as Roman Catholic from 3,696,644 (79%) in 2016 to 3,515,861 (69%) in 2022. The No Religion category increased from 451,941 people to 736,210. The Church of Ireland category showed little change but remained the second largest religious category with 124,749 people (2%).

General Health

The proportion of people who reported their general health status as either very good or good fell from 87% to 83% between 2016 and 2022. Apart from those aged 75 years and over, all other age groups reported a shift from good to less good health. In 2022, 52% of people aged 35 to 39 reported very good health, compared with 61% in 2016.


The number of people who reported experiencing at least one long-lasting condition or difficulty to a great extent or a lot was 407,342 (8% of the population).  A further 702,215 (14% of the population) reported a long-lasting condition or difficulty to some extent or a little.


The number of unpaid carers increased by 53% to more than 299,000 between 2016 and 2022. There were increases in the proportion of the population providing unpaid care across most age groups. People aged between 50 and 59 were the group most likely to be providing regular unpaid care. It should be noted that there were a number of changes to the question on unpaid carers on the 2022 census form which may affect comparability with the previous census.

Marital Status

Single people aged 15 and over made up 43% of Ireland's population, compared with 41% in 2016. There were more single men (52%) than women (48%). Married people, including those who were re-married, and people in a same-sex civil partnership, accounted for 46% of the population aged 15 years and over, down from 48% six years ago.

Working from Home

Nearly 750,000 people, a third of workers, indicated that they worked from home for at least some part of their week. Four out of five business, media and public service professionals availed of home working. The proportion of workers in the science, research, engineering and technology professionals group who ever worked from home was also high at 78%.


Almost 80% of households had a broadband internet connection in 2022 up from 71% in 2016 and 64% in 2011.

To view the full report click here.