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Cities in IRELAND



Since 1841, the population has declined almost continuously due to the famine of 1846 and emigration to the United States in particular. In 1841, 6.5 million Irishmen still lived on the island. In 1900 about 4.5 million, in 1915 about 4 million and in 1961 the lowest point was reached. The population had fallen to 2.8 million. The number of inhabitants grew again from 1961. There are 5,011,102 people living in Ireland in 2017. The average number of inhabitants per km2 is approximately 72. The Dublin metropolitan area is home to approximately a quarter of the total population, ie just over 1.1 million. Important cities are also Cork (190,000 inhabitants), Limerick (65,000), Galway (55,000) and Waterford (48,000).

Irish Football FansIrish Football FansPhoto: Public domain

The countryside has become increasingly depopulated due to strong emigration. 63.8% of the Irish therefore live in cities. In the 1980s many Irish immigrated to Great Britain in particular due to high unemployment and the poor economic situation (average 19,000 per year). In total, about 50,000 Irish people emigrate abroad each year. Significantly, there are more people of Irish descent living in the United States than in Ireland itself. Increased prosperity brought a record number of immigrants (22,800) to Ireland in 1998. Half of them were Irish returning to Ireland. A special group are the itinerants or travelers (also called Tinkers), a tramps people, but no gypsies. They are descendants of the poor farmers who were driven off their land by the English Landlords. The famine of 1846 also forced many Irish people to look for food. The descendants of this group also still roam and keep alive with doing chores and selling tin and copper objects. Ireland's symbols are the harp and three-leaf clover (shamrock).


Beek, D. van / Ierland

Europese Unie
Europees Platform voor het Nederlandse Onderwijs

Hendriksen, B. / Dublin en Ierland
Van Reemst


Phenix, P. / Ierland

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
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