Recession hits rapid rise of Laois population growth

Census figures reveal impact of the recession but also show that growth is still above average

Recession hits rapid rise of Laois population growth
By Conor Ganly

The impact of the recession on Laois dramatically slowed a population boom, but the county still maintains an above average growth rate.

The number of people in Laois now stands at 84,697, an increase of 5.1% over five years to 2016 according to Central Statistics Office figures from Census 2016 published last week. The people of the county are also younger than average, and there are more men than women.

The growth rate contrasts sharply to the last census when Laois was by far the fastest growing county in percentage terms. Between 2006 and 2011 Laois' population surged by 13,399 from 67,059 to 80,458, an increase of 20 per cent.

Census 2016 results show that Ireland’s population stood at 4,761,865 in April 2016, an increase of 173,613 (3.8%) since April 2011.

Highlights of reports for Laois are:

- More males than females in County Laois: 42,811 males and 41,886 females.

- The average age of Laois’ population is 35.6 years, compared to 34.3 years in April 2011 - national average is 37.4.

- 4,110 people were divorced/separated in Laois, a rate of 4.9%, compared to the national rate of 4.7%.

- More than 8,600 in Laois or 10.2% of people were born outside Ireland.

- 32,485 people in Laois stated that they could speak Irish, compared to 31,311 in April 2011. 688 spoke Irish daily outside the education system, while 1,848 spoke Irish weekly outside the education system.

- 780 Irish Travellers resided in County Laois in April 2016, an increase of 16.8% since 2011.

- 18,960 dwellings in Laois had broadband access in April 2016, an increase of 18.5% since April 2011.

3,209 dwellings had non-broadband internet access, a decline of 5.7%, while the number of dwellings with no internet access fell by 24.0% to 5,977.

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