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Ireland’s population reached 5.3 million in 2023
Henry Street in Dublin city centre Pic: Ireland's Content Pool

26 Feb 2024 / ireland Print

Ireland’s population has reached 5.3 million

Ireland’s population reached 5.3 million in 2023, CSO figures show.

Between 2013 and 2023, Ireland had the third-highest percentage increase (14.4%) in population in the EU27, after Malta (28.3%) and Luxembourg (23%).


The proportion of Ireland’s population aged 45 or over increased from 35.4% in 2013 to 40.6% in 2023, while the proportion aged under 45 decreased from 64.5% in 2013 to 59.4% in 2023.

The difference in median weekly earnings between males and females in Ireland widened to €148.94 in 2022 – up from €120.89 in 2013.

Ireland had the second-highest price level for consumer goods and services in the EU 27 in 2022, at 42.3% above the EU27 average, while Denmark had the highest at 48.6% above the EU27 average.

Ireland's greenhouse-gas emissions per capita were 12.3 tonnes per capita in 2021, which was the second highest in the EU27 after Luxembourg (14.7 tonnes per capita).

Rate of recovered waste rose

The amount of municipal waste generated in Ireland rose from 2.8 million tonnes to 3.2 million tonnes between 2011 and 2021, while the proportion of that waste recovered (recycled, composted, or incinerated for energy) rose from 42.6% to 82.8% over the same period.

The number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates in Ireland was 40.3 per 1,000 persons aged 20-29 in 2021, the highest rate in the EU27.

Male life expectancy at birth was 80.5 years in Ireland in 2021 – 3.3 years higher than the EU27 average.

Female life expectancy at birth in Ireland was 84.3 years, which was 1.4 years above the EU27 average.


Statistician Aideen Sheehan said: "The progress indicators used in this report are chosen to provide an overall view of the social, economic, environment, education and health situation in Ireland, and how Ireland compares in these areas with other European countries.

“The report shows how Ireland's population has grown at the third-fastest rate in the European Union in the last 10 years, up by 14.4% when compared with an EU 27 average of 1.7%. It also shows that the proportion of the population aged 65 or over increased from 12.3% in 2013 to 15.3% in 2023.”


Ireland had the second lowest divorce rate in the EU27 in 2021, at 0.9 divorces per 1,000, below the EU27 average of 1.7 divorces per 1,000. Malta had the lowest rate at 0.6 divorces per 1,000.

Ireland had a fertility rate of 1.8 in 2021, which tied with France, Czechia, and Romania as the highest rate in the EU27. However, all countries in the EU 27 were below the theoretical replacement fertility rate of 2.1.


The employment rate in Ireland was 73.2% in 2022, which was above the EU27 average of 69.8%.

The male employment rate in Ireland was 78.1% and the female rate was 68.4%, giving a differential of 9.7%.

The number of new dwellings completed in Ireland rose by 615% between 2013 and 2023, with 4,575 completed in the year 2013 and 32,695 completed in 2023.

Over the same time period, the number of new apartments completed rose by 2,361%, scheme houses by 1,242%, and single houses by 88%.

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