The population of Northern Ireland now stands at 1,810,900 – the highest ever recorded in the six counties.

According to the first figures of the Census 2011, the Northern Ireland population has increased by seven percent (125,600) in the past decade. The rise represents the fastest growth between consecutive censuses in over 50 years.

The latest figures now show that the island of Ireland’s population has grown to 6.4 million.

The census figures also show that despite the growth in overall population, the number of children has fallen by 18,700 (5 percent) since the 2001 census.

Half a century ago 50 percent of the population lived in homes with five or more people but now just 22 percent live in such households.

According to the BBC, key findings include:

-Females make up 51 percent of the population

-The average age is 37, up from 34 in 2001

Commenting on the figures, Finance Minister Sammy Wilson said the census is the single largest statistical exercise conducted by government.

"While it takes considerable time to plan, implement and process, the results will be of great importance in planning the future development of Northern Ireland,” Wilson said.

"The census, which is undertaken every 10 years, provides essential statistical information about the population across all of Northern Ireland.”

New census figures show that Northern Ireland's population has increased significantly in the past decadeGoogle Images