The number of Catholics in Meath was down slightly in April 2016, compared to five years ago while the number of people with no religion almost doubled according to the latest Census 2016 report published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO)
Catholicism remains the predominant religion in Meath, accounting for 82.1 per cent (160,140) of Meath’s population, down 0.2 per cent from 2011. The rate of decline is slower than the figure nationally which stood at 3.4 per cent,
As with the State overall, the next largest group was those with no religion. In the past five years, the number of people with no religion almost doubled. In 2011, the 7,990 people with no religion comprised 4.3 per cent of the county’s population. By 2016, this had increased to 15,783 people comprising 8.1 per cent of the county’s population. The 4,134 Church of Ireland members in the county made up 2.1 per cent of its total population. Orthodox (2,915) and Muslims (1,564) completed the top five.
Meanwhile, the report also shows there were 977 Irish Travellers enumerated in the county in April 2016, unchanged from 2011. Travellers made up 1 in 200 (0.5 per cent) of the county’s population, which was below the figure at national level (0.7 per cent).
There were more male (502) than female (475) Travellers in Meath and almost half (49.9 per cent) of all Travellers in the county were aged under 20, compared to 31.9 per cent of the county’s overall population.
In April 2016, 84.4 per cent of people in Meath indicated a 'White Irish' ethnic or cultural background amounted to 163,985 people-an increase of 6,069 on 2011.
The next largest grouping – 'Any Other White background' accounted for 17,508 persons (9 per cent), an increase of 1,668.
Those with 'Black or Black Irish (African/any other Black background)' comprised 3,062 persons (1.6 per cent) while 2,589 persons (1.3 per cent) indicated an 'Asian or Asian Irish (Chinese/any other Asian background)'. A further 2,457 (1.3 per cent) stated they were of 'Other, including mixed background' while 3,724 (1.9 per cent) did not state their ethnic/cultural background.