Guest post: The depopulation and population of Ireland

Originally a comment by tigger_the_wing on Over in seconds.

As an Irish citizen who was born abroad and moved here over twenty-three years ago, I’ve seen the growth of the population and it really hasn’t been a problem for anyone except the racists and xenophobes, who would object to any immigration whatsoever. The total population is still little more than half what it was before the mass emigration due to the potato blight and subsequent deliberate starvation of the Irish people; Irish people still emigrate to other countries in large numbers.

The population of Ireland during the 2002 census (near enough twenty years ago) was 3,858,495. That same year, there were over half a million Irish-born people living in the UK. Also, thanks to the great number of Irish who moved to Britain during the famine and subsequently, it is estimated by some that there could be more than five million British-born people with at least one Irish grandparent, which would entitle them to automatic Irish citizenship. My mother is one – three of her grandparents were Irish.

The population in 2022 (the latest year for which the figure is available) was 5,123,536, an increase of 1,265,041, or about 33%, over the previous figure.

From the 2022 census page:

The question on nationality changed in Census 2022 to capture information on country of citizenship. This change may have impacted comparisons with previous census data.

84% of the population hold sole Irish citizenship, or (as I do) dual citizenship. For census purposes, both are counted as Irish. Twenty percent of the resident population were born abroad, but that includes those who are Irish citizens (such as offspring of Irish emigrants who returned to Ireland); only 12% of the population have citizenship of a different country, and no Irish citizenship.

For anyone interested, here’s the website of the government office with the official figures, which go into a great deal of detail.

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