Language, religion, children, divorce: Ireland in numbers as revealed by the Census

Language, religion, children, divorce: Ireland in numbers as revealed by the Census

THE results of the 2016 Irish Census have been revealed in figures from the Central Statistics Office. 

From religion, population and the average number of children, Ireland and its society across 4.76 million people has been broken down in numbers.

Ireland in Numbers: Check out the statistics below... 

Ageing population

The average age of the population in April 2016 was 37 years old, up from 36 years in April 2011.

Men aged 65 and over increased by 22 per cent to 296,837 while females aged 65 and over increased by 16.7 per cent to 340,730.


The average number of children per family, at 1.38, was unchanged from 2011; 218,817 families were headed by one parent, with the vast majority (86.4 per cent) being mothers.

The average household size increased from 2.73 persons to 2.75 persons, a reversal of the long-term decline in average household size in Ireland.

Same sex civil partnerships

Census 2016 recorded a total of 6,034 same sex couples, of whom 3,442 were male couples and 2,592 were female.

There were 4,226 persons in same-sex civil partnerships, the first time this category was recorded in the census.


The number of divorced people in Ireland increased by 16,125 to 103,895 in 2016.


The number of Irish residents born outside Ireland continues to increase, and stood at 810,406 in 2016, a rise of 43,636 on the 2011 gure.

Of the 82,346 people who moved to Ireland in the year to April 2016, 28,143 were Irish nationals, with the main countries of origin being Britain, Australia and the US.

54,203 were non-Irish immigrants, and their main countries of origin were Britain, Brazil and Poland.

Foreign languages

612,018 Irish residents spoke a foreign language at home, up 19 per cent since 2011.

Polish was the most common language, followed by French, Romanian and Lithuanian.

A total of 30 per cent of those who spoke a foreign language at home were born in Ireland, and 57.4 per cent of these were children.

Irish Traveller community

The Irish Traveller population increased by 5.1 per cent to 30,987.

The biggest percentage increases were recorded in Longford and Roscommon.

Irish language

1,761,420 people said that they were able to speak Irish, a slight decrease on the 2011 gure.

Of that 1.76 million people, 73,803 spoke Irish daily outside the education system, 3,382 fewer than 2011.


The number of people identifying themselves as having no religion increased from 269,800 to 468,400, an increase of 73.6 per cent, and comprised almost one in 10 of the population.

The number of Catholics fell to 3,729,100 from 3,861,300, and comprised over three quarters of the population in April 2016, compared to 84.2 per cent in April 2011.


The number of households renting on census night 2016 amounted to 497,111, an increase of 22,323 on the 2011 gure.

Just under 1.7million permanent housing units were occupied at the time of the census, an increase of 48,257 units (2.9 per cent) on 2011.


312,982 dwellings had no internet connection, down from more than 1 in 4 in 2011.

Broadband use in private households increased to 70.7 per cent and 148,125 more households had a broadband connection.