Surge in females due to migration

Women are in the ascendancy in modern Ireland, as the number of females outnumber their male counterparts by 42,854.

There are 98.1 males for every 100 females.

It represents a reversal of the situation recorded in Census 2006, when there were slightly fewer females than males.

The reason for the change is largely attributed to changing patterns of migration, with a notable influx of young female adults.

However, there is a majority of males in counties including Leitrim, Cavan, Roscommon, and Galway, In contrast, there are just 92 males for every 100 females in Dún Laoghaire.

Women account for almost 70% of all people aged 85 or older, while they are in a clear majority in all age groups over 70, as well as those aged between 20 and 29.

However, the proportion of men in the older age groups is increasing — a reflection on falling male mortality rates.

Males also still account for a majority of those aged 19 or under; there is an average ratio of 104.6 males per 100 females.

The number of people in Ireland increased across all age groups between 2006 and 2011, except in the 15-29 age bracket. This is attributed to the decline in births in the late 1980s and early 1990s combined with emigration.

The census also highlights how people are living longer, with the population aged 65 or over increasing by 14.4% — up almost 67,500 to 535,393.

The average age of the population also rose to 36.1 — up from 35.6 in 2006, despite the high inward migration of primarily younger people.

Fingal (32.9 years) has the youngest average population in the country followed by Kildare (33.5), while Cork City (38.7) has the oldest, followed closely by Mayo (38.6) and Kerry (38.5).

There were 389 people aged 100 or over.

In a significant move for the provision of social welfare the dependency ratio (the number of pensioners and children compared to adults of a working age) increased to 49.3 in 2011 from 45.8 in 2006.

It means there is approximately one child or older person for every two people of a working age. The increase is due to both an increasing birth rate and people generally living longer, notwithstanding an increase in the number of people of working age, too.

Nearly 28% of people aged 65 or over who were living in private households live on their own. A total of 136,295 pensioners now live alone, of which almost two-thirds are women.


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