Dublin is the capital of Ireland and located in the province of Leinster on the east coast of the country at the mouth of the River Liffey. With a history dating back to the 9th century, Dublin today has a population estimated at 565,000 in 2014, with a metropolitan population of 1.8 million.
"Dublin" usually refers to the contiguous urban area that includes South Dublin, Fingal, and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, which combined create the traditional County of Dublin, or the Dublin Region.
City Size and Population Density
The Dublin Region accounts for more than 25% of the country's total population with a population density of 4,588 people per square kilometer in the city proper, or 11,880 per square mile. In terms of entire surface area, the city proper spreads over nearly 115 square kilometers and the urban area sprawls over 318 square kilometers.
Over the past 15 years, Ireland as a whole has become more ethnically diverse. This is most apparent in the Dublin Region, with a foreign-born population that represents 20% of the total population. In 2011, 250,000 foreign-born people lived in Dublin, up 51% from 2002.
In 2011, the ethnic and national origins of the Dublin population was:
- Irish 82.7%
- UK 1.7%
- Polish: 2.9%
- Asian: 2.9%
- European Union 15 excluding Irish and UK: 1.8%
- Lithuanian: 0.8%
- African: 1.6%
- American: 0.3%
The ethnic population of Dublin was 90% white - including 400,749 white Irish at 78%; 57,748 other white at 11% and 1,923 white Irish traveller -, 1% black, and 4% Asian.
In terms of religion, 75% identified as Catholic, 10% as other stated religions, with 14% having no faith or no religion indicated.
The earliest reference to a settlement in the Dublin area was in the writings of Ptolemy in 140 AD, referencing the settlement as Eblana Civitas. In the 9th century, Dublin was established as a Viking settlement and remained under Viking control until the Norman invasion of Ireland from Wales in 1169. The King of Leinster enlisted help from Strongbow to conquer Dublin. Strongbow then declared himself king after gaining control. It was around this time that the barony of Dublin City was separated from the barony of Dublin. The two were redesignated as the City of Dublin in 2001.
The Tudor conquest of the country in the 1500s created a new era for the city, which once more became the center of the rule in Ireland. Queen Elizabeth I of England, in an attempt to make Dublin Protestant, established Trinity College in 1592 and ordered that the Catholic cathedrals be converted to Protestant. Dublin had a population of 21,000 by 1640 before a plague killed nearly 50% of the population. The city once more prospered, reaching more than 50,000 people by 1700.
By the 18th century, Dublin boasted a population of more than 130,000 and was, briefly, the second-largest city in the British Empire and the fifth largest in Europe. It grew quickly during the 18th century when many of its most well-known buildings were constructed.
Dublin Population Growth
By 2020, the Central Statistics Office predicts the Dublin Region will reach a population of 2.1 million by 2020, with Dublin City will have a population of 610,000. By 2031, the Dublin population could surpass 5 million, with most people living in the greater Dublin area of Dublin, Kildare, Meath, and Wicklow rather than the other regions.