We have examined the 2022 census data to find patterns in population distribution and change around the country.
As well as the cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford there are three more towns with population over 30,000: Dundalk and Drogheda in County Louth and Swords in County Dublin. Naturally the cities have also seen the most population growth, but towns with growth of more than 3,000 people since the previous census are also found in Kildare, Louth, Wicklow, Meath, Donegal and Carlow.
When population growth is put in percentage terms, there are towns in Kildare, Wexford, Meath, Clare and Donegal where population jumped by more than 50%. On the other hand, some towns in Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Clare and Longford experienced negative growth, having lost more than 8% of their 2016 populations by the time of the 2022 census.
Most towns have population density of between 1,000 and 2,000 people per square kilometre, but this can be higher especially in the greater Dublin area – in fact, all of the settlements with more than 4,000 people per square kilometre are found in Dublin, Kildare or Meath. There are also 6 towns where population density is less than 500 people per square kilometre, and these are located in Clare, Donegal, Cork and Tipperary.
The youngest towns, with average age 30 or 31, are found in Dublin, Cork, Sligo and Galway while Cork and Mayo have some of the oldest towns where the average age is 46 or 47.
According to the latest figures, some 12% of adults aged 18 and over are living with their parents. The towns where more than one adult in six lives with their parents are found in Clare, Kildare, Meath, Wicklow, Cork, Westmeath, Louth, Offaly, Donegal and Dublin.
An even more detailed geographic breakdown will be released shortly, in which statistics are provided not just town by town but for small areas of approximately 100 households each. This will allow us to do very localised mapping and analysis of Ireland’s population profile.
@ 2023 Gamma.ie by Charlotte Cuffe
Gamma Location Labs is a cloud hosted spatial solutions provider that integrates software, data and services to help our clients reduce risk through location intelligence consultancy and software. Established in Dublin, Ireland in 1993, and with offices in Manchester, UK and Bilbao, Spain, the company has expanded to become a global provider of innovative, cloud-hosted location intelligence solutions.
Data are taken from the Central Statistics Office data releases on the 2016 and 2022 Census of Population. Only towns with populations of more than 1,000 people are included in this analysis.