Galway is a city located in the West Region of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht. This thriving harbor city is located on the Corrib near Galway Bay and it's completely surrounded by County Galway. Galway is the 4th largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the 6th largest city on the island of Ireland. In 2019, Galway has an estimated population of almost 80,000.
According to the 2016 census, the nationality and ethnic demographics of the population of Galway are made up as such:
- Irish: 81.4% Irish
- United Kingdom national: 2%
- Polish or Lithuanian: 6.3%
- Other EU national: 5.2%
- Other nationality: 5.1%
- White: 91.1%
- Black: 3.3%
- Asian: 3.2%
- Other: 2.4%
The early 2000s saw a large wave of immigrants moving to Galway, bumping the non-Irish population up to around 20% of the population. Just over half of this group (around 11% total) are white Europeans, coming from Central European and Baltic States, such as Latvia, Poland, and Lithuania. There are a small number of Asian and African immigrants from East Africa, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe.
The King of Connacht, Tarrdelbach Ua Conchobair had a fort by the name of Dún Gaillimhe built in 1124, which soon had a surrounding settlement. Dún Gaillimhe was captured during the Norman invasion in the 13th century. As time went on, the town merchants – 14 merchant families known as the Tribes of Gallway – pushed for greater influence in the walled community. This eventually led to them gaining mayoral status by England in 1484. During the middle ages, the city had rich international trade partnerships, as it was the primary Irish port for trade with the Spanish and the French.
Throughought the 16th and 17th centuries, the city remained loyal to England. By 1642, however, the city became an ally of the Catholic Confederation of Kilkenny during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. During Cromwell’s conquest of the island, forces captured the city after a long siege.
At the end of the century, following capture, Galway's great families were in ruin. The potato famine that struck the nation in the 18th century dealt another great blow to Galway that took nearly a century to recover from.
Since the previous census in 2011, the city of Galway has seen a population increase of 5.3%, raising the population from 75,529 to 79,504 in 2016. It is expected that, should the current rate of growth continue, the population of Galway will reach 100,000 people by 2020.