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Tue Nov 28, 2017, 09:38 AM

Ireland : Census 2016 says we are older, less religious and speak less Irish

Some 22,500 more people left country than came in during the five year period to 2016

Ireland is now a country with older and less religious people and with more migrants and travellers, and we are speaking less Irish, according to the first results from Census 2016.

The population of Ireland rose by 3.8 per cent between April 2011 and April 2016, according to results from the Central Statistic Office (CSO) published today.

Based on the census conducted on every home in the country on April 24th last year, the population on that night was 4,761,865. This is the slowest rate of increase recorded since the 1991- 1996 census period.


Population change between 2011 to 2016 was largely driven by natural increase, with births outnumbering deaths by 196,000.
Overall migration patterns over the five years revealed that 22,500 more people left the country than entered it.
There are 810,000 foreign-born people in Ireland, representing 17.3 per cent of the population. The number of Poles was virtually unchanged, and they remain the largest single foreign nationality in the country, followed by the UK and Lithuania. The largest increases in foreign nationals since 2011 were from people born in Romania and Brazil. Meanwhile, the number of people holding dual Irish nationality almost doubled from 55,905 in 2011 to 104,784 in 2016.

There were significant changes in the responses to questions about religion, with 78 per cent of the population, or 3.7 million people, declaring themselves as Roman Catholic, a fall of 132,220 from 2011, when Catholics represented 84 per cent.
The second largest group in this category were those declaring no religion, at 10 per cent or 468,420, an increase of 198,610 from six per cent in 2011.

The rate of increase in divorces is slowing, with an increase of 16,125 compared to an increase of 28,236 between 2006 and 2011.


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Reply Ireland : Census 2016 says we are older, less religious and speak less Irish (Original post)
OnDoutside Nov 2017 OP
Maeve Nov 2017 #1
OnDoutside Nov 2017 #2
Maeve Nov 2017 #3
OnDoutside Nov 2017 #4
Maeve Nov 2017 #5

Response to OnDoutside (Original post)

Tue Nov 28, 2017, 10:30 AM

1. Ta bron orm faoi sin--well, sorry to hear the language in decline

And sorry I can't do fadas in a title...I studied Irish for a time...the economy continued to send people packing and there are plenty of reasons why the religious feeling has fallen, but the language is the soul of a country, espeically one so small.
Tá brón orm...there!

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Response to Maeve (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 28, 2017, 12:45 PM

2. Ta se bronach ach ta an teanga ag titim ar feadh i bhfad.

(It is sad but the language has been declining for a long time.)

The biggest acknowledged problems with the language, is the teaching of it and forcing people to learn it. Irish people have a habit of rebelling against being forced to do things !!!

This is from the official press statement from the Central Statistics Office in relation to the 2016 Census

Irish Language
In April 2016, 1,761,420 persons (aged 3 and over) stated that they could speak Irish, 39.8% of the population. This was a slight decline (-13,017 or -0.7%) on 2011. More females (968,777) than males (792,643) stated that they could speak Irish.

Ability to speak Irish by (administrative) county
Galway County recorded the highest percentages of persons able to speak Irish at 49.0%, followed by Clare (45.9%), Cork County (44.9%) and Mayo (43.9%). In contrast, the lowest percentages were in Dublin City at 29.2%, followed by Louth and South Dublin (both 34.1%) and Cavan (34.6%).

Frequency of speaking Irish
Of the 1,761,420 people who stated that they could speak Irish, almost one in four (418,420 or 23.8%) indicated that they never spoke it. A further 558,608 (31.7%) indicated that they only spoke it within the education system.

Among the remaining group, 586,535 persons (33.3%) spoke Irish less often than weekly, while 111,473 (6.3%) spoke it weekly. The number speaking Irish daily stood at 73,803, representing 1.7% of the population. This was a decline of 3,382 (4.4%) on 2011.

Daily Irish speakers
Of those who spoke Irish daily, 14,903 (20.2%) lived in Dublin City and suburbs. This was an increase of 674 people (4.7%) on 2011. Cork, Galway and Limerick together accounted for 6,034 daily Irish speakers (8.2%). Outside of these cities, the largest absolute numbers of daily speakers were living in An Bun Beag-Doirí Beaga (771), followed by Letterkenny (525) and Swords (487).

Daily Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht areas of Galway County and Donegal made up almost three quarters of all daily Irish speakers in Gaeltacht areas, with 9,445 (45.9%) in Galway and 5,929 (28.8%) in Donegal.

The Daily figure above is the key one - 74,000 out of a population of 4.6 million people, and that's after 90 years of compulsory Irish being taught in schools. My own son is in a school which is run by very pro Irish principal and staff, but he says most in his class see Irish as a waste of time.

As someone who was just a teenager in 1979 when Pope John Paul came to Ireland, there were a number of reasons for the decline of religion, some of which were

- the Bishop Eamon Casey / Annie Murphy scandal
- the Father Michael Cleary Scandal
- the Paedophile Priests scandals
- the coverup of the Paedophile Priests scandals
- the Mother & Baby home/ Magdalene Laundry scandals
- the response of the Bishops who were more concerned with protecting the Church's Bank account than facing up to what happened.

What seems to have happened subsequently is that many moderates pulled away from the Church, leaving lay RW hardliners in charge, who have largely doubled down on the Bishops outlook.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 28, 2017, 06:47 PM

3. I got the meaning without translation

Which says I remember more than I thought I did.... And I really do understand the why so few are interested in a language that is fading. But I'm a romantic; I'd like to see it out-live me! (I'm a few years older than you, btw)
And yes, the church scandals have been numerous. I'd put that last bit about more concern with protecting the money as one of the real tipping points; it showed up in virtually all the others. It also gets to the root of why I am now a 'recovering Catholic', but that's another story.

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Response to Maeve (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 28, 2017, 07:08 PM

4. It will be there for a while yet !

The hardliners call the likes of myself "A la carte" Catholics, pissed that we are no longer subservient. Next years Referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment (in relation to Abortion), will be a big test on where the power of the Church stands here.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 28, 2017, 07:58 PM

5. Good luck with that

I remember the divorce vote (what a squeaker!)

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