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The number of residents in present-day Ireland has decreased to about half since the 1840s, which is partly due to the emergency years in the mid-1800s and partly to a very large emigration. However, since the beginning of the 1960s (when the population was 2.8 million) the population has increased, and Ireland has a high nativity for Europe.

Religion and Languages of Ireland

In the Dublin area, 25 per cent of Ireland's population lives, and 60 per cent live in urban areas with over 1,500 residents. The largest cities in 2016 were Dublin (553,200), Cork (125,600) and Galway (79,500). Ireland has a young population; almost half of the population is under 25 years of age.


According to Countryaah, Irish and English are official languages in Ireland. In essence, English or Hiberno-English is spoken (English colored by Irish pronunciation and expression). In 2006, about 42% of the population considered themselves Irish-speaking, but only a fraction of them speak Irish only. Most are more or less bilingual, with Irish as other languages. The Irish state is working to strengthen the position of the Irish, including through legislation and Bord na Gaeilge (Irish Language Council). For example, Irish are compulsory subject in school education since 1921.


Since 1937 there has been complete freedom of religion. In 1991, 91.6% of the population were Roman Catholics, 2.5% Anglicans.

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