Ireland's population now at highest level since Great Famine
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Ireland's population now at highest level since Great Famine

THE POPULATION OF IRELAND currently sits at 4,921,500 according to data compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the highest it's been since the zenith of the Great Famine.

Ireland's population has been steadily on the rise since the mid-1960s, and has now reached a level that almost matches the count from the mid 1851, the first census taken following the Great Famine, which decimated the population with disease and emigration.

In 1851, the national population was declared as 5.1 million, which had dropped sharply from 8.5 million in 1841, as the Famine began to take its toll.

By 1900, the number had dropped to just 3.2 million, and it would take another 66 years before a significant climb in figures was observed.

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Credit: Central Statistics Office

In 2016, taking population figures from Northern Ireland into account, the island and Ireland's total population exceeded the population of the 1851 census for the very first time, and now the Republic of Ireland isn't too far behind.

Of the 4.9 million people currently living in Ireland, 2,438,000 are males while 2,483,500 are female. 4,298,800 are Irish nationals, while 622,700 declared as non-Irish nationals.

The population of Dublin accounts for 28.4% of the overall country, with almost 1.4 million people living in the capital.

According to the report from the CSO, the country has seen 88,600 immigrants through its borders, with 54,900 people emigrating away in the same period.

Commenting on the figures, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar noted that Irish people are the country's greatest strength.

"Ireland’s population now approaching five million," he said.

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"More people living, working and raising families in Ireland than at any point since independence. Our people are our greatest strength."