Ireland Population 2018

4,817,756

Ireland's 2018 population is estimated at just over 4.80 million, according to the most recent UN projections. When discussing the population of Ireland, it’s important to make a distinction between two territories that are separated politically. Geographically speaking, the term "Ireland" relates to both the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.

The most recent Ireland census was taken in 2011, which recorded the total count as 4,588,252. This represented an 8.2% increase from the 2006 numbers. The most recent census was taken in 2016, but the final results are still being tabulated. Preliminary results put the total population at 4,757,976, which is a bit higher than the UN projections.

Ireland Area and Population Density

The island of Ireland is located in the North Atlantic, and is the 3rd largest island in Europe with an area of 70,273 square kilometers. The Republic of Ireland covers 5/6 of the island while Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, covers the rest of the island. The population density of Ireland comes in at roughly 68 people per square kilometer.

Ireland's Capital and Largest Cities

The capital and largest city of the Republic of Ireland is Dublin, which has an urban population of 1.11 million. Dublin was originally founded as part of a Viking settlement, becoming the nation's principal city after the Norman invasion.

Ireland Demographics Notes

Ireland has been inhabited for more than 9,000 years by groups like the Riata, Laigin, and Cruthin. Over the last 1,200 years, the island has been inhabited by the Vikings, Normans, Welsh, Scots, English, Eastern Europeans, Africans, and South Americans, the latter two to a lesser degree.

The largest religion in the country is Christianity, particularly Roman Catholics, which account for more than 84% of the population of the Republic of Ireland. There is a small but rapidly growing population of Muslim people due to immigration. About 4% of the Republic of Ireland has no religion, compared to 14% in Northern Ireland. There is also a small Jewish population.

Ireland Migration

There is a massive Irish diaspora in the United States, England, Canada, and Australia with more than 5 million Canadians (15% of the population) of Irish descent. There are about 34.5 million Americans with Irish ancestry.

The Republic of Ireland has been a popular destination for immigrants for the last 50 years, particularly immigrants from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and the Czech Republic. In 2006, 10% of the population (420,000 people) were foreign nationals, while 24% of births were to mothers born outside of the country. A 2015 study showed that almost 1 in 8 people living in Ireland were born abroad.

Ireland Population History

During the Potato Famine -between 1845 and 1851 - two million people died or were forced to emigrate from Ireland. The population of Ireland has never been able to repopulate to its pre-famine level of approximately 8 million residents.

The Republic of Ireland gained its independence from Great Britain in the early part of the 20th century. After a failed uprising in 1916, Irish nationalist parliamentarians formed their own government three years later in 1919.

A guerrilla war undertaken by the Irish Republican Army then followed and the independent state of the Republic of Ireland was finally ratified by the British government with the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1922.

Jumping ahead, The rise in population from 2002 to 2006 showed that the annual growth rate of 2% was the highest since records began. That was ultimately responsible for the increase in numbers of 322,645 in the four years from 2002. Will Ireland be able to match pre-Famine numbers if this trend continues? Only time will tell.

The official figures from the 2011 Census showed that the growth has continued and there were 341,421 more citizens living in the Republic of Ireland in 2011 than there were in 2006.

This increase is a little inconsistent within Ireland itself, however, and while Dublin and other urban areas are enjoying sustained growth, more rural regions are actually experiencing a decline in population.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 8 minutes
One death every 17 minutes
One net migrant every 111 minutes
Net gain of one person every 14 minutes

Ireland Population in 2018Source: Eckhard Pecher [CC BY 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5), CC BY 2.0 de (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/de/deed.en), GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Population Data via United Nations WPP (2015 Revision, Medium Variant)

Ireland Population Growth

Ireland continues to grow at a steady rate, albeit much slower than in the previous decade. In both the 1970s and 2000s, Ireland saw periods of rapid growth.

In the 1840s, prior to the Irish Potato Famine, the population of Ireland was as high as 6.5 million, much higher than today. As a result, the number of Irish expatriates dwarfs the resident Irish population.

Ireland is projected to continue it's growth throughout the 21st century at a moderate rate.

About Ireland

Official NameRepublic of Ireland
Languages SpokenEnglish, Irish
Is LandlockedNo
Latitude/Longitude53-8
Currencies UsedEuro
DemonymIrish

Countries Bordering Ireland

United Kingdom

Ireland Population Density

Ireland Top 20 Cities by Population

Name Population
Dublin1,024,027
Cork190,384
Dun Laoghaire185,400
Luimneach90,054
Gaillimh70,686
Tallaght64,282
Waterford47,904
Swords36,924
Drogheda33,441
Dundalk33,428
Navan24,545
Ennis24,427
Balbriggan23,364
Tralee22,941
Sandyford22,288
Kilkenny21,589
Naas20,713
Sligo20,228
Carlow20,055
Loch Garman19,913

Ireland Population Clock

The population of Ireland (as of 11/13/2018)?4,817,756
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2018)4,803,748
Births Per Day177
Deaths Per Day87
Net Migrations Per Day 13
Net Change Per Day 103
Population Change Since January 1st32,651

Ireland Population Estimator

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Estimate as of November 13th 2018 is: 4,819,797

Ireland Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
20184,803,74849.61%50.39%68.361250.88%
20174,761,65749.60%50.40%67.761230.75%
20164,726,07849.59%50.41%67.251230.55%
20154,700,10749.60%50.40%66.881220.31%
20104,626,92849.82%50.18%65.841181.89%
20054,212,97749.95%50.05%59.951211.82%
20003,848,77649.74%50.26%54.771221.06%
19953,651,54549.68%50.32%51.961220.46%
19903,569,25749.79%50.21%50.791200.02%
19853,564,95950.02%49.98%50.731170.75%
19803,434,95350.23%49.77%48.881111.53%
19753,184,12650.24%49.76%45.311111.54%
19702,949,99850.20%49.80%41.981080.62%
19652,859,95550.23%49.77%40.701070.27%
19602,822,11050.30%49.70%40.16103-0.54%
19552,899,78450.63%49.37%41.2695-0.09%
19502,913,09350.87%49.13%41.45910.00%

Ireland Population by Year (Projections)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
20204,887,99249.65%50.35%69.561260.00%
20255,063,87649.66%50.34%72.061270.71%
20305,219,95149.68%50.32%74.281270.61%
20355,374,33849.71%50.29%76.481250.58%
20405,530,56149.76%50.24%78.701250.57%
20455,677,66949.81%50.19%80.791240.53%
20505,801,39949.85%50.15%82.561240.43%
20555,892,22149.89%50.11%83.851240.31%
20605,955,71249.93%50.07%84.751230.21%
20656,004,95449.99%50.01%85.451230.16%
20706,052,15250.07%49.93%86.121230.16%
20756,107,23150.18%49.82%86.911230.18%
20806,173,35750.28%49.72%87.851220.22%
20856,245,24450.34%49.66%88.871210.23%
20906,311,39050.35%49.65%89.811210.21%
20956,360,53350.33%49.67%90.511210.16%
Data Sources
  1. Ireland Central Statistics Office
  2. 2016 Preliminary Census Results
  3. World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 2011 census and the 2016 census preliminary results, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration.

  4. GeoNames Gazetteer