Census reveals the changing face of Ireland

Divorce is on the rise; there are more women than men; and more Poles than Britons; two thirds of older people live alone; half the population lives in Leinster; and 4,042 same-sex couples live together.

The latest census figures show how much Ireland has changed and hints at the implications of those changes for the future.

More than 200,000 people are divorced or separated, with divorce up 150% since 2002, the first count after divorce was legalised in 1997.

However, more couples have married in recent years.

Of the 1.18m families, 143,600 were comprised of cohabiting couples.

There were also 215,300 families headed by lone parents, while 4,042 same-sex couples lived together.

The census, taken on Apr 10, 2011, showed the diverse population rose to more than 4.58m last year and included 766,770 residents who were born outside Ireland.


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