Wednesday 1 September 2021

Ireland's population at 1851 levels for first time since The Famine

With more than five million people living in the 26 historical counties of the Republic of Ireland, the population of Ireland is at its highest since 1851, acording to the most recent figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The Irish Famine of 1845–1852 saw one million people in Ireland die from starvation and exposure to the elements, and more than one million emigrated in desperation. The population was devastated, and never regained the numbers seen in the first half of the 1800s when, at its peak, there were some 8.5million people living on the island.

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The most recent Censuses in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland put the all-island population at about 6.8million.

The CSO's estimate of the current (Republic) population is 5.1 million people, up from 4.97 million 12 months ago.

The increase is due both to more children being born in Ireland, as well as positive net migration, as 65,200 people moved to Ireland from abroad compared with 54,000 people leaving Ireland to live elsewhere. However, the population increase is the smallest since 2014.

There were 55,500 births and 32,700 deaths in the year to April, giving a natural increase (births less deaths) in the population of 22,800. This is the lowest level of natural increase recorded since the 2000 population estimates.

For more detail on the CSO's findings, delve into the latest results here.