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Demographics trends in the Southern Region

Census 2016 preliminary results show that Ireland’s population has continued to grow since census 2011, increasing by 169,724 persons to 4,757,976 persons. This represents an increase of 3.7 per cent over the 5 year intercensal period. The preliminary results further show a population of 1,585,992 persons in the Southern Region, a 2.9 per cent increase on the 2011 census. 

Demographics trends in the Southern Region
Source: CSO Census 2016 preliminary results

The density in the Southern Region is 53 persons per km2 in a region of 29,653 km2.

CSO Census 2016 preliminary results

No significant changes in the gender composition of the region were observed in the period.


Population change varied widely across the country ranging from a high of over 8 per cent increase in Fingal to a low of -1.5 per cent in Donegal. Among the fastest growing counties were the four administrative areas of Dublin, along with the commuter belt counties of Meath, Kildare and Laois and the cities of Cork and Galway.

While most counties experienced some level of population growth three counties witnessed population decline over the five years, namely Donegal (-1.5 per cent), Mayo (-0.2 per cent) and Sligo (-0.1 per cent). Three other counties grew by less than 1 per cent, namely South Tipperary1 which increased by .72 per cent, Roscommon by .58 per cent and Leitrim which grew by just .55 per cent. 

Within the Southern Region the increase across the census period was 2.9% or an increase of 44,553 persons. The lowest increases within the region were observed in Clare (1.2%) and South Tipperary (0.7%). The strongest increases were seen in Cork City (5.4%) followed closely by Cork County (4.2%).

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