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Crowed Grafton Street, in Dublin - CSO expects Ireland's population to rise to Famine levels Photo by: Google Images

Irish population could top pre-Famine levels - estimated to reach 6.7 million by 2046

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Crowed Grafton Street, in Dublin - CSO expects Ireland's population to rise to Famine levels Photo by: Google Images

A new report from the Central Statistics Office shows Ireland may be on pace to reach and pass the population total from before the Great Famine by the year 2046. 

Famine in Ireland led to about half the population either fleeing or dying. In 1841, the population was topping 6.5 million but by 1999 that number had diminished to 3.1 million. 

Since then, the population has continued to grow despite having more emigrants than immigrants in recent years. Just last year 87,000 people left for a new country while only 53,000 people arrived in Ireland to start a new life.  Ireland is seeing population growth because of their highest in Europe birth rate at 2.1 per woman.  

The report predicts the birth rate will stay around that number while the migration flow will turn positive by 2016 and will level at +30,000 a year by 2021.  Meaning that Ireland should see a major boom in population in years to come if the future economy doesn’t lead to negative migration. 

The report also predicts an increase in life expectancy with the men’s going from 77.9 years in 2010 to 85.1 years by 2046 and women from 82.7 years in 2010 to 88.5 by 2046. 

In 2011 there were about 400,000 more younger people than older but the report also predicts that current trend will reverse by 2031.

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