Census maps out your ideal location

It’s Meath for marriage, South Dublin for singletons, and Killybegs for Catholicism.

If you’re looking for a place to live that most matches your values in life, the latest round of figures from the CSO may offer a map to your ideal location.

The area profiles compiled from the 2011 census provide statistical pictures of every county, every Dáil constituency, and all 272 towns in the country with a population of 1,000 or over.

Figures include everything from the percentage of children aged four and under to the number of homes with four cars and over. They give an insight into the kind of communities that exist in each area and how they go about daily life.

As well as a curiosity value, the CSO says the database is of practical importance to policymakers when it comes to identifying needs and opportunities for services.

Among some of the more curious findings are that Co Meath has the highest percentage of married people in the country — 54% of adults in the county are married compared to a national average of 47%.

Within the county, Ratoath appears to be the capital of romance with 60% of the locals married, while Stamullen comes close with 59% having tied the knot.

In contrast, the constit-uency of Dublin South-East, which includes the districts of Dublin 4 and the ‘flatland’ area of Rathmines, has the reverse make-up, with 60% of the population single. It’s also one of the few areas where more people live in apartments (including flats and bedsits) than houses — 50.3% compared to 42.1%.

Cork City, which has a roughly similar population, only has 16.7% of its population living in apartments.

When it comes to age profiles, university haven Galway is the city of eternal youth, with a population in the 20-24 age group almost twice the national average and many more in the 25-34 bracket than is the norm nationally.

Laois and Fingal exceed the national average when it comes to babies and pre-schoolers while Sligo, Roscommon, and Mayo all have significantly more over-50s than the national average and noticeably fewer in the younger age brackets.

Immigration is a feature in all areas but the extent varies across the country, from a low of 8.1% in Co Donegal to a national average of 12% to 19.4% in Galway City.

Religious beliefs also vary considerably and while the vast majority of the population still classify themselves as Catholic, the proportion of people who say they have no religion ranges from 17% in the Dublin South-East constituency to just 2% in Killybegs, Co Donegal.

The figures are revealing not just about people but about property, as they show the extent of vacant dwellings in each area. In Dingle, more than half (56.6%) of the vacancies are explained by the fact that they are holiday homes, while in Limerick City, just 0.3% are holiday homes, suggesting a high percentage of investment properties that can’t be filled.

Among the other statistics in the area profiles are household size and composition, educational achievements, commuting patterns, occupation, health, disability, carers, proficiency in Irish, internet access, and the number of people who lived somewhere else a year before the census was taken.


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