The Irish Population

I’m the worst Irishman in the world, completely unable to talk to Irish history, geography, demographics and more.

To start to put this to rights, this visualisation shows the population information as per the Irish Census, running from 1841 to 2011. The Census was conducted roughly every ten years up until 1911, and from the mid-1940’s, every five years.

The visualisation shows the total population recorded in the Census for each county (selectable in it’s totality, and by year); the overall population trend per county over time; and the overall population by year.

Selecting “Gender” will apply a gender filter to the entire visualisation; selecting any year from the “Year” list will show the total numbers per county and only affect the country map; and selecting a county from the “County” list (sorted by total population across all censuses included in the analysis) will highlight the trend line for that county and highlight that county on the country map.

Selecting a county on the country map or a county’s trend line will highlight that county’s Census population and the related population trend for that county over time.

Finally, selecting a year on either of the two trend line visualisations will filter all three visualisations with that year’s data.

Some top-level observations:

  • Ireland currently has a total population of almost 4.6 million people, down from the 1841 high of 6.5 million.
  • The two most interesting counties in terms of population are Cork and Dublin, with Cork being the most populous county in Ireland until being overtaken some time between 1892 and 1901. From there, while Cork has increased after dipping down from the mid-1800’s to the late 1800’s, Dublin has gone from strength to strength, with a continuous population increase since 1841, and with just over 1.2 million people living there as per the last census.
  • In Ireland, the Great Famine was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration between 1845 and 1852, and this is reflected – from a population of over 6.5 million in 1841, through just over 5.1 million in 1851, down to just over 4.4 million in 1861.
  • Overall, the Irish population declined from 6.5 million in 1841, stablising over the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, and began to grow substantially in the 70’s.
  • Today’s Irish population is most comparable in numbers to the Irish population in 1861.

Data source:

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