Census figures released: Meath's population grows by 12.9% in six years

The population of Meath has grown by a staggering 25,000 residents since 2016, representing a +12.9% jump.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (23rd June 2022) released the Preliminary Results from Census 2022.

These preliminary results, published 12 weeks after Census night (Sunday 03 April 2022), are based on initial counts from more than 5,000 enumeration areas.

In Meath the preliminary figures show that the population on 3rd April was recorded at 220,296. The population included 110,463 females and 109,833 males. This is an increase of 25,252 (+12.9%) since 2016.

This was made up of a natural increase (ie births minus deaths) of 10,331 and an estimated net inward migration (ie population change minus natural increase) of 14,921.

The total housing stock in Meath in April 2022 was 79,224. This shows an increase of 8,575 (+12.1%) since 2016. There were 4,605 vacant dwellings, which was 35 fewer (-0.75%) than in 2016. This does not include holiday homes, of which there were 333.

Photo by Gavan Becton

The preliminary results of the 2022 Census recorded the highest population in a Census since pre famine times - with a population of 5.1 million on 03 April 2022 – an increase of 7.6% from Census 2016.

All counties show population growth since 2016 with Longford seeing the biggest percentage increase (+14.1%), followed by Meath (+12.9%)

In the six years between Census 2016 and Census 2022, there was net inward migration of more than 190,000.

Commenting on the release, Cormac Halpin, Senior Statistician in the Census Division, said “The Preliminary Results show a population of 5,123,536 on Census night. This is an increase of 7.6% since 2016. It is also the highest population recorded in a census since 1841.

There were 2,593,600 females and 2,529,936 males recorded, which is an increase of 7.7% and 7.5% respectively. The population increase of 361,671 was made up of a natural increase (births minus deaths) of 171,338 and estimated net inward migration (population change minus natural increase) of 190,333.

The counties recording the highest population growth were in Leinster. Longford grew by more than 14%, with Meath, Kildare, and Fingal, also growing strongly. In contrast to Census 2016, when three counties (Mayo, Sligo, and Donegal) had a fall in their population, the Preliminary Results show that the population of every county has increased since 2016.

In Leinster, 10 of the 12 counties showed a higher percentage increase than the national average, with Offaly (+6.0%), and Kilkenny (+4.5%), being lower. In Munster, Waterford (+9.4%) had a higher percentage increase than that of the State overall. Both Leitrim (+9.5%) and Roscommon (+8.4%) showed a higher percentage increase than the national rate, while Cavan, Donegal, or Monaghan did not.”

Mr. Halpin added: “The publication of these Preliminary Results, less than 12 weeks after Census night, is only possible thanks to the commitment and dedication of both our census field staff and the permanent census staff in Swords, as well as the continued support for the census from the public. The CSO would like to thank both the staff involved in the census for their hard work, and the public for their overwhelmingly positive response to and engagement with our national census. The results provide valuable initial insights into how our population and housing situation is changing and developing since Census 2016. We are busy working on the completed census forms and look forward to begin sharing the full set of detailed results from April next year.”

Work has commenced on preparations for the next census, which will be held in 2027. This will include an online response option for the first time which will be partially funded by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

Meath East Fianna Fail TD and Minister for EU Affairs Thomas Byrne has welcomed the publication of the Preliminary results of the recent census which state that the population of Meath has increased by 12.9% since 2016 which amounts to total population of approximately 220,100.

Commenting on the publication of the results, Minister Byrne said that “it is important that we continue to expand and enhance vital services across the county. The government will continue to deliver funded resources for new school places, disability services, transport links and health services for the growing needs of the people of Meath”.