The Central Statistics Office (CSO) recently produced preliminary results from Census 2022 which provide rich insights into how Ireland has changed in the six years since the last census.
While more detailed results will be made available next year, the preliminary data shows that the population of Ireland grew by over 7% since 2016, bringing the country’s population to over 5 million for the first time since the middle of the 19th Century.
Every part of the country saw an increase in its population, including the four Local Authority Areas of Dublin – Dublin City, Fingal, South Dublin and Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown. The fastest growing of the four was Fingal, posting a rise of over 11% and bringing the population to nearly 330,000. Dublin City grew by a more modest 6%, resulting in a population of 588,000.
Natural Increase and Net Migration
The preliminary results also give some indications as to what drove population change between censuses. All population growth is due to more people being born than dying, which is termed ‘natural increase’, and immigration into an area exceeding emigration from that area, or ‘net migration’. All parts of Dublin experienced growth due to both natural increase and net migration between 2016 and 2022. Dublin City, Fingal and South Dublin each saw natural increases of over 15,000 people, with Fingal increasing by over 19,000.
Net migration, which can be caused by both people moving to Ireland from other countries and people moving within Ireland, was higher in Dublin City, at 18,175, than anywhere else in Ireland. The CSO will produce much more detail on these migration patterns and who is moving where once the census forms have been scanned and analysed and the final data is available next year.
Housing and Vacancy Rates
Housing has become a major area of interest in recent censuses, with the vacancy rate receiving particular attention. The preliminary results for 2022 show that the housing stock across Dublin grew by over 7% to nearly 570,000 units, which made up over a quarter of the overall national housing stock.
Census vacancy measures vacancy at a point in time and as may have been expected, the rates among Dublin’s four Local Authority Areas were well below the national rate of 8%, with South Dublin (4%), Fingal (4%) and Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown (5%) recording the three lowest rates in Ireland. Vacancy in Dublin City was slightly higher at 7%, perhaps because it contains a significantly higher proportion of properties which are rented than the other three areas where home ownership is more prevalent.
The detailed census results in 2023 will provide more insight into Dublin housing, including which neighbourhoods and districts of the Capital saw the biggest changes in housing stock since the last census.