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  • The population reached 4.6 million in April 2011, the highest level in 150 years.

    Population growth has been very strong despite emigration and the economic downturn, driven mainly by an extraordinarily high birth rate with more than 70,000 births per year.

    Most of the new population growth is concentrated in the commuter belt outside the capital.

    Laois had the fastest-growing population of any county (up 20 per cent), more than twice the growth rate for the country as a whole. Other areas of rapid growth included Cavan, Fingal (both 14 per cent), Longford and Meath (both 13 per cent). Leinster now accounts for some 55 per cent of the entire population.

    Munster showed the slowest growth of the provinces at 6.2 per cent while its share of the population was 27.1 per cent. Connacht grew by 7.6 per cent and had 11.8 per cent share, while Ulster (part of) grew strongly at 10.3 per cent and had 6.4 per cent share.

     The number of people in urban areas (i.e. towns with a population of 1,500 or more) surpassed 2.8 million for the first time.

     62.0 per cent of the population lived in urban areas in April 2011 compared with 46.4 per cent 50 years ago.

     The total number of urban centres increased from 170 in 2006 to 197 in 2011.

     Five towns joined the category of 10,000 or more (i.e. large towns) since the last census (Ashbourne, Cavan, Bettystown, Tramore and Enniscorthy) bringing the total number to 39.

     Dublin city has lost population share of the total urban population at the expense of other urban areas over the past fifty years.  In 1961 Dublin city accounted for over half the urban population of the country with 50.9 per cent living there. In April 2011 this had fallen to 39.0 per cent.

    Published on March 30, 2012 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Uncategorized; Tagged as: ,
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