The percentage of the Irish population who identified as Roman Catholic fell from 79% (3,696,644 people) in 2016 to 69% (3,515,861 people) in 2022, according to newly published data from Ireland's Central Statistics Office (CSO.)

The total number of Roman Catholics in Ireland fell by 180,783 between the 2016 Census and the most recent 2022 Census.

Despite the decline, Roman Catholicism remains far and away the most popular religion in the Irish State with more than 3.5 million respondents saying it is their religion.

It was followed distantly by 736,210 people who reported no religion, 339,562 people who did not state their religion, 124,749 who said their religion is Church of Ireland, England, Anglican, Episcopalian, and 100,165 who said their religion is Orthodox (Greek, Coptic, Russian.)

The new data was released on Tuesday, May 30 as part of the CSO's 2022 Summary Results, which detail the Irish population changes in the six years since April 2016. The Irish Census was taken on Sunday, April 3, 2022.

According to the CSO, a question on religion has been a part of the Irish census for many years which creates a long historical time series charting the relative growth and decline in the number of people identifying with various religions and also with no religion.

The CSO noted that the questions on religion differed between Census 2016 and Census 2022 "which may impact comparability." The 2016 question asked, "What is your religion?" while the 2022 question asked, "What is your religion, if any?"

Response categories changed in 2022 question, the CSO said, noting that "No religion" was the first response option in 2022.

Across counties, there were differences in religion categories relative to the county size. Co Mayo had the highest proportion of Roman Catholics at 80% of the county’s population, closely followed by Tipperary, Offaly, Roscommon, and Galway County, all reporting 79%.

Dublin City recorded the lowest percentage of Roman Catholics at 53%.

No religion was recorded for 24% of people living in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, but only for 7% of the people in Monaghan.

Elsewhere in the Census data, 1,800 people reported Jedi Knight as their religion, a drop of 250 people since the 2016 Census.

Meanwhile, 1,111 people said they are Mormon, 203 people reported Rastafari, 189 people reported Satanism, 132 people said they are Scientologists, and 113 people said that Hare Krishna was their religion on Census night 2022.

Pastafarians appear to have disappeared from Ireland with no people claiming the religion, a drop from 92 people in 2016.

You can read more about religion in Ireland according to the 2022 Census here.