The Irish population was estimated to stand at 5.01 million in April 2021 for the first time since the Famine, new figures from Ireland's Central Statistics Office show. 

The report, published by Central Statistics Office (CSO) on August 31, marks the first time the population has risen above five million since the 1851 census when the comparable population stood at 5.11 million.

Ireland's population was estimated to be 5.01 million in April 2021, which is the first time the population has risen above five million since the 1851 census, when the comparable population was 5.11 million. The total population on the island of Ireland in 1851 was 6.6 million.

— Central Statistics Office Ireland (@CSOIreland) August 31, 2021

The CSO said the combination of positive net migration and natural increase (births fewer than deaths) resulted in population growth of 34,000 (0.7%) in the year to April 2021.

While 65,200 persons immigrated to Ireland in the year to April 2021, 30,200 (46.3%) of these were estimated to be returning Irish nationals, the highest number of returning Irish nationals since 2007.

The population of Dublin in April 2021 was estimated to be 1.43 million persons, 28.5% of the total population.

The CSO figures also show that there were 742,300 people living in Ireland aged 65 and over in April 2021, an increase of 112,500 (+17.9%) since April 2016.

Population and Migration Estimates, April 2021

Population and Migration Estimates, April 2021

Commenting on the results, statistician James Hegarty said, "Ireland's population was estimated to be 5.01 million in April 2021, which is the first time the population has risen above five million since the 1851 census.

"The total population on the island of Ireland in 1851 was 6.6 million.

Ireland's population was estimated to be just over five million in April 2021https://t.co/pbbSpBVBqF pic.twitter.com/jp8iSY9typ

— Central Statistics Office Ireland (@CSOIreland) August 31, 2021

"The combination of positive net migration and natural increase gave population growth of 34,000 (+0.7%) in the year to April 2021. This was smaller than the rise of 55,900 (+1.1%) in the year to April 2020.

"The number of immigrants to the State in the year to April 2021 is estimated to be 65,200, while the number of emigrants from the State over the same period is estimated at 54,000. These combined flows gave positive net migration, (more people arrived than left).

"The Dublin region experienced weak growth in the year increasing its population by just 8,300 persons. Consequently, the population of Dublin in April 2021 was estimated to be 1.43 million persons, equating to 28.5% of the total population."

Hegarty added: "It should be noted that this release covers the 12 months to April 2021. Therefore, the results contained in this release reflect some of the demographic and social impacts of COVID-19."

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