Republic’s population reaches 5 million for first time since famine era

Republic’s Population Reaches 5 Million For First Time Since Famine Era
Dublin’s population increased by 8,300 in the year to April 2021, to reach 1.43 million. Photo: PA
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The State’s population has broken the five-million barrier for the first time since the 1851 census.

According to the CSO Yearbook 2021, the Republic’s population was estimated to be 5.01 million in April 2021, while the comparable population in 1851 was 5.11 million.


The increase in the State’s population was estimated to be 34,000 in the year to April 2021, the smallest increase since 2014.

Dublin’s population increased by 8,300 in the year to April 2021, bringing the population of the capital to almost 1.43 million, amounting to 28.5 per cent of the State total.

The Midlands, with just over 307,000 people (6.1 per cent), was the region with the smallest population in April 2021.

The CSO yearbook also finds that smoking is now more prevalent in the non-Irish national community than for Irish nationals. Some 17 per cent of non-Irish nationals reported daily smoking compared to just 9 per cent of Irish nationals.

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Alcohol consumption and smoking was highest in the 25-34 age group (87 per cent of this age group drank alcohol, and 14per cent reported they smoke daily), while the age group 75 years and over reported the lowest levels of alcohol consumption (56 per cent) and smoking (4 per cent daily).

Meanwhile, marriage rates more than halved in 2020 most likely as a result of the pandemic, the CSO found. December proved the most popular month for opposite-sex couples to tie the knot as restrictions eased. February was the most popular month for same-sex couples.

Births to teenage mothers continue to decrease with 830 births to women under 20 recorded in 2020, compared to 1,199 in 2015.

Grace pipped Fiadh to the most popular baby name spot for girls. Jack retained the top spot as the most popular boy’s name, while the top three surnames for babies were Murphy at 602 (1.1 per cent), Kelly at 523 (0.9 per cent) and O’Brien at 467 (0.8 per cent).

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