Ireland's population to approach six million by 2036 - CSO

The population of Dublin could increase by almost one-third by 2036, according to research by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Ireland's population to approach six million by 2036 - CSO

The population of Dublin could increase by almost one-third by 2036, according to research by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

It is just one of several potential outcomes mapped out as part of the CSO's Regional Population Projections 2017 to 2036.

The research examines population projections for each year from 2017 to 2036 using six different scenarios. It looks at fertility, mortality, internal migration and international migration.

Among the potential population changes mapped out in the report are:

  • Ireland's population, which stood at 4.74 million in 2016, is projected to increase to between 5.33 million and 5.81 million by 2036
  • The Mid-East region which accounted for 14.6% of the total population share in 2016, is projected to increase under all six scenarios to between 15.1% and 16.6% by 2036
  • The South-West, Mid-West, West and Border regions are projected to account for a lower percentage share of the total population under all scenarios by 2036
  • The number of persons aged 65 years and over is projected to see increases in excess of 65.0% across all regions by 2036.

The research asserts that the number of 0-14-year-olds will be between 799,000 and 905,800 by 2036, and there will be between 3.4 million and 3.75 million 15-64-year-olds. There could be as many as 1,146,900 people aged more than 65 by 2036.

The research is not designed to predict the future but rather examine how the population could evolve in the coming decades, according to James Hegarty, CSO statistician.

"With international migration into Ireland of 20,000 persons per annum and internal migration inflows to Dublin from the other regions, the population of Dublin is expected to increase by 31.9%, from 1.34 million in 2016 to 1.76 million persons by 2036, representing 31.6% of the State total," he said.

Another scenario examined what would happen if Ireland saw the same level of international migration but also saw population movement from Dublin to the other regions. In this case, the population of Dublin would increase by just 11.6% to 1.49 million by 2036, Mr Hegarty said.

In this scenario, the Mid-East region is projected to show the strongest population gains, increasing by 35.6% from 690,900 persons in 2016 to 937,100 persons by 2036.

The report presents six regional population projection results for each year from 2017 to 2036. The scenarios are consistent with those used in the national population and labour force projections, published in June 2018.

"This publication is not an attempt to predict the future but rather presents how the population could evolve under six different scenarios. By making assumptions about future trends in mortality, fertility, internal and international migration we can project the population forward and examine the possible outcomes for demographic groups such as the school-going population, the working-age population and the elderly," he added.

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