THE Republic of Ireland has recorded its largest jump in population since 2008, figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show. A combination of a natural increase, immigration and migration gave a population growth of 88,800 in the year to April 2022.
The key findings of the report include:
In the 12 months to the end of April 2022:
- The population increased by 88,800 persons, the largest 12-month increase since 2008.
- There were 120,700 immigrants, a 15-year high.
- Of those immigrants; 28,900 were returning Irish nationals, 24,300 were other EU nationals, and 4,500 were UK nationals.
- The remaining 63,000 immigrants were other nationals including almost 28,000 Ukrainians in the 12-month period.
- More people emigrated than in recent years with 59,600 persons departing the State compared with 54,000 in 2021.
- There was a natural increase of 27,700 people in the State comprised of 60,700 births less 33,000 deaths.
Cathal Doherty, Statistician in Population Estimates and Projections, commented on the figures. He said: "Ireland's population was estimated to be 5.10 million, increasing by 88,800 persons in the year to April 2022. This was the largest 12-month population increase since 2008 when the population increased by 109,200.
“The number of immigrants, or those entering the State in the year to April 2022 is estimated to be 120,700, while the number of emigrants, or those leaving the State, over the same period is estimated at 59,600. These combined flows gave positive net migration (more people arrived than left), of 61,100 in the year to April 2022, compared with 11,200 in the previous year.
“The number of immigrants was the highest since the year to April 2007 and consisted of 28,900 returning Irish nationals, 24,300 other EU nationals, 4,500 UK nationals, and 63,000 other nationals including Ukrainians.
“There were 768,900 persons living in Ireland aged 65 and over in April 2022. Those aged 65 and over had an increase in population share between 2016 and 2022, increasing from 13.3 per cent to 15.1 per cent of the total, a volume increase of 139,100 persons.
“Looking at where people reside, the proportion of the population living in Dublin has increased from 27.6 per cent of the total in 2011 to 28.4 per cent of the total in 2022 and is now at 1,451,000 persons."
The latest figures for Northern Ireland drawn from the census in March 2021 is that a total of 1,903,100 people make up the population of the Six Countie. This gives an all-island total of just over 8million, the highest total since the Great Famine in the 19th century.
Researchers believe that had the Famine, and accompanying emigration, not occurred, the island of Ireland would have a population today between 12million to 15million. This would roughly be in line with the European norm.
After the Famine, the population steadily fell, reaching its lowest levels in the 1930s with the population of the entire island not exceeding 5million until the 1980s.