50% surge in pre-schoolers living in flats

There has been an almost 50% increase in the numbers of pre-school children living in apartments since 2006, as the number of children aged under four in Ireland booms.

This is compared with more modest increases of 24% in semi-detached homes, 24.5% in terraced, and 9.9% in detached.

According to the latest Census 2011 results released by the CSO, about 35% of all pre-school children (0-4 years) are now living in rented accommodation.

The study shows that the number of pre-school children in Ireland has increased by almost 18% since 2006, compared to the 8.2% increase in the population as a whole. This brings the numbers of pre-school children back to just above the levels seen in the early 1980s.

In urban areas, this increase stands at 23%, while in the Fingal area, the numbers have skyrocketed by over 72%. Cork is one area which bucks the trend, with a fall-off in the pre-school age group of almost 11% since 2002.

The population of the primary school age group (5-12) showed a similar upward trend, with an increase of 12% since 2006.

This cohort decreased in two cities, with Limerick showing a 9.4% fall and Cork City a 7.9% fall in numbers.

There has been a 49.6% increase since 2006 of primary school-aged children living in rented accommodation, while there has been a more than 18% rise in the number of primary school children living with one parent since 2006.

There has been a decline of 12% since 2006 in the number of young adults (19-24) living in Ireland.

“This is primarily a cohort effect of lower births in the late 1980s compared with earlier years, combined with the effects of migration among this mobile group,” the CSO said.

In terms of older people, Census 2011 found the number aged 65 and over has increased by 14.4% over the past five years.

There were 100 more people aged over 100 in 2011 compared to 2006, with the number of centenarians on the day of the census standing at 389. More than 20,000 older people were resident in nursing homes and almost 5,000 staying in hospitals.

The CEO of Nursing Homes Ireland, Tadhg Daly, said the figures underlined the critical importance and urgent requirement to put a strategy in place that would address the growing and continued demand for health and social care services for older people.

“Today’s census is a further reminder that we are living longer and growing older and demand for health and social care services is escalating and will continue to increase over the coming years. One of the challenges in respect of care of our older population is the requirement to develop a true continuum of care that ensures that people have access to the care they need at each appropriate stage.

“The rise in the numbers growing older is significant and we cannot ignore the demand that will be placed upon care providers in meeting the health and social care requirements of our older population.”

Census by numbers

* 118% — Increase in Leinster’s population since 1926.

* 1.9% — Decrease in Connacht’s population since 1926.

* 76,762 — Number of births in 2010 — the highest ever recorded number of births.

* 5.8 — Difference in years in the average age of the oldest and youngest counties, Cork City (38.7 years) and Fingal (32.9 years).

* 72.2% — Increase in the preschool population in Fingal since 2002.

* 23% — Growth in the preschool age groups in urban areas.

* 10.9% — The decrease in the preschool age group in Cork City since 2002.

* 34.7% — Percentage of all preschool children who lived in rented accommodation in 2011.

* 49.6% — Increase since 2006 of primary school aged children living in rented accommodation.

* 18.1% — Increase since 2006 of primary school aged children living with one parent.

* 23.5% — Percentage of the secondary school aged population living in rented accommodation.

* 16.3% — Decrease in the secondary school age population in Limerick City since 2006.

* 12% — Decrease in the population of young adults since 2006.

* 389 — Number of people in the State aged 100 and over.

* 100 — Increase in the number of centenarians since 2006.


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