Belfast Telegraph

'Oldest' counties revealed as Ireland's population ages

Kerry and Mayo are the oldest counties in the country, the Census has revealed.

The average age of people in Ireland in April last year was 37.4 years old, up 1.3 years since 2011, with Fingal in north Dublin home to the most young people and an average age of 34.3.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) also reported that Ireland 456 centenarians on census night, an increase of 17.2% on 2011.

Its report on age profiles found that in the average age in Kerry and Mayo was 40.2.

And it was also able to show the oldest and youngest towns in the country.

Balbriggan in Co Dublin the most youthful with the average age just 30.8, followed by Maynooth at 31.9, Ashbourne at 32,.2, Navan at 33.1 and Portlaoise at 33.2.

And the most ageing towns were Killarney, where the average age was 40.9, followed by Wexford at 39.4, Malahide 38.6 and Clonmel and Sligo both with an average age of 38.5.

The CSO noted Ireland's population, like most of western Europe, is ageing, and has been since the 1980s.

There are now 637,567 people over 65.

And the report said the Census showed since 2011 there has been a fall in the number of both children under four and the number of young adults aged 19 to 24.

CSO senior statistician Deirdre Cullen: "This profile report examines the age breakdown of Ireland's population and the characteristics of different age groups by geographic area, accommodation and household composition.

"It aims to build on the earlier results on age and sex composition."

The C ensus found 37% of the population is aged 45 and over, compared with 34.4% in 2011 and 27.6% in 1986.

In rural areas the average age is 2.4 years older than in towns and cities with the CSO noting the influence that third level colleges have on population due to the influx of 18-22-year-olds in some areas.

The Census also found that women are on average 1.3 years older than men.

And the report found that age dependency is growing, the number of people under 14 and over 65 compared to those of working age.

In 2011 it was calculated at 49% but last year it had risen to almost 53%.

The CSO said the number of people aged over 65 increased by 102,174 in the five years to April 2016 - twice the increase in the 15-64 age group.

Elsewhere, it said there were 76,207 children living in flats and apartments and 392,119 kids in rental accommodation.

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