Ireland’s population expected to grow over next 35 years according to CSO projections

22 Jun 2018

According to latest CSO Population and Labour Force Projections, Ireland’s population could grow substantially by 2051.

Ireland’s population could reach 6.69 million in 2051, an increase of nearly 2 million from 4.74 million in April 2016, based on projections of high net inward migration and fertility rates. Even a projection of low net inward migration levels and decreased fertility levels would see the population increase to 5.6 million over the next 35 years.

The report presents several projections under different scenarios based on inward migration levels and fertility rates from 2017 to 2051.

Migration assumptions

In 2015, Ireland returned to net inward migration and immigration has increased steadily from 42,000 in 2010 to just under 85,000 persons in 2017.

  • Migration scenario M1 presents high migration and assumes annual net migration of 30,000 per annum to 2051.
  • Migration scenario M2 presents a medium net inflow of migrants of 20,000 per annum to 2051.
  • Migration scenario M3 assumes a lower net inward migration of 10,000 per annum to 2051.

Labour force growth (2017 -2031)

  • Assuming net inward migration under the highest scenario (M1), the labour force could be expected to rise by 504,300 persons (21.6%) to 2,842,900 persons by 2031.
  • Under the medium migration scenario (M2) the labour force is projected to increase by just under 400,000 (17.0%) to 2,736,400 persons by 2031.
  • Migration scenario (M3) with net inward migration projected at 10,000 people per annum could expect  the labour force to grow to 2,628,700 persons (12.4%) in 2031.

The report also noted:

  • Primary school-going population (ages 5-12) is projected to increase from 548,100 to between 555,500 and 562,000 by 2021 but expected to decrease to between 510,900 and 457,600 from the year 2021 to 2031.
  • Secondary school-going population (13-18) is set to increase from the year 2021 to 2031 and by between 67,300 and 75,700 persons by 2026.  By 2051, it is protected to be between 330,300 and 439,600 secondary school-aged children.
  • The report projects that there will be between 1.5 and 1.6 million persons aged 65 years and over by 2051, compared with 629,800 in 2016.

For more information

Read CSO Population and Labour Force Projections 2017 – 2051