LAOIS is the fastest growing county in Ireland with its population surging past the 80,000 mark for the first time.
The first results from Census 2011 show that 80,458 people live in Laois, an increase of nearly 13,400 on 2006.
Laois grew by 20 per cent which was more than double the national average. The county has also passed neighbouring Offaly, and surpassed the growth projected by Laois County Council.
Most of the growth took place in the north and east of Laois. Portlaoise grew by more than 40 per cent and is now almost 18,000. Portarlington also grew fast as did Graiguecullen.
The county also recorded that highest rate of inward migration. Apart from Offaly, Laois is growing faster than its neighbouring counties of Kildare, Kilkenny, Carlow and Tipperary.
For more read next week’s Leinster Express.