Tuesday 20 August 2019

Wexford is second oldest town in the county

A snapshot of the age profile of Ireland census results
A snapshot of the age profile of Ireland census results
Age profile of men and women

By Esther Hayden

Wexford has the second oldest population in Ireland according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

Last Thursday the CSO published An Age Profile of Ireland based on Census 2016.

The figures show that Ireland's population has been getting steadily older since the 1980s. In Census 2016, 37.2 per cent were aged 45 and over, compared with 34.4 per cent in 2011 and 27.6 per cent in 1986. Almost a third of the population - 33.2 per cent- was less than 25 years old, while 29.5 per cent were in the 25-44 age group.

Nationally the average age of Ireland's population stood at 37.4 years in April 2016, up by 1.3 years since 2011 while the average age in rural areas was 2.4 years higher than that in urban areas. The figures also show that the number of both pre-school children aged 0-4 and young adults (19-24) have fallen since 2011.

In relation to Wexford the figures show that the average age of Wexford's population in April 2016 was 38.1 years, an increase of 1.6 years since 2011. Those living in urban areas were on average 0.9 years younger than those in rural areas.

With the average age of 38.1 years Wexford is the second oldest large town with a population of 10,000 or over coming second only to Killarney which has an average age of 40.9 years. Balbriggan with an average age of 30.8 years is the youngest large town in the country followed by Maynooth which has an average age of 31.9 years.

The figures released last Thursday provides data on the population by a range of age groups, i.e. pre-school children (aged 0-4), primary school aged children (5-12), secondary school age (13-18), young adults (19-24), adults (25-64) and older people (65 years and over).

Wexford, in common with the State overall, recorded declines in both the pre-school and young adults age groups, with the decline in both being higher than that seen at the national level, e.g. a decline of 10.5 per cent in the pre-school age group compared to 7.0 per cent nationally. The other age groups showed increases, with the county recording higher percentage increases than those seen nationally in both the secondary and older age groups.

The figures show that at the time of Census 2016 there were 10,327 children aged between 0 to 4 years in the county, a decrease of 10.5 per cent. There were 18,305 children aged between 5 and 12 years in the county at Census 2016, an increase of 5.2 per cent.

The number of secondary school children aged between 13 and 18 years increased by 8.7 per cent to 12,574 while there was a drop of 7.3 per cent in young adults aged between 19 and 24 years.

Adults aged between 25 to 64 years increased by one per cent to 77,839 while those aged 65 years and old increased by a whooping 19.7 per cent to 21,985. However this increase was in keeping with the rest of the country with the number of people aged 65 years and older in Leinster rising by 20.3 per cent while nationally there was an increase of 19.1 per cent in this age group.

In terms of age dependency which is a measure of the extent to which the young (aged 0-14) and older (age 65 and over) populations are dependent on the population of working age people, defined as those aged 15 to 64 years Wexford has a dependency rate of 58 per cent. This is the number of young and older people together were equal to 58 per cent of the total number of working age people, compared to the national rate of 52.7 per cent.

Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician with the CSO said: 'This profile report examines the age breakdown of Ireland's population and the characteristics of different age groups by geographic area, accommodation and household composition. It aims to build on the earlier results on age and sex composition in the Summary Results Part 1 and to provide a more in-depth look at all age cohorts in Ireland in April 2016.'

The full report is available on the CSO website at along with all the data which is available in a range of interactive web tables.

Wexford People

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