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Fewer Catholics, while 'no religion' up 74% - Census

13 October 2017

Those without a religion now make up 7.6% of the county's population, up from 4.4% in 2011.

The number of Muslim people in Ireland increased by 28.9% to over 63,000. That's up from a figure of 157 families in 2015, while the figure was 170 families the two years previous. This was an increase of 296 (39.3%) on the number in 2011 (753). Travellers made up 1 in 200 (0.5 per cent) of the county's population, which was below the figure at national level (0.7 per cent).

The Central Statistics Office today published Census 2016 Profile 8 Irish Travellers, Ethnicity and Religion.

More than 30% of Travellers aged 15 to 29 were married, compared with 5.8% of the general population.

The number of those saying they had no religion increased by 74%. By 2016, this had increased to 3,520 people comprising 4.5% of the county's population.

Catholicism remains the predominant religion in Meath, accounting for 82.1 per cent (160,140) of Meath's population, down 0.2 per cent from 2011.

Those who indicated a "White Irish" ethnic or cultural background amounted for 88/2 percent of the population. The next largest grouping - "Any Other White background" accounted for 12,738 persons (8.0%), a decline of 351.

Number of Catholics living in Ireland falling, Census data reveals
Fewer Catholics, while 'no religion' up 74% - Census

The 2,271 Church of Ireland members in Offaly made up 2.9% of its total population.

Those with "Black or Black Irish (African/any other Black background)" comprised 888 persons (2.2%) while 667 persons (1.6%) indicated an "Asian or Asian Irish (Chinese/any other Asian background)".

Meanwhile the Christian Orthodox religion saw the second biggest growth at 37.5 percent with its numbers standing at 62,187, with Romanians making up 33.5 percent of the overall population. A further 1,253 (1%) stated they were of "Other, including mixed background" while 1,874 (1.5%) did not state their ethnic/cultural background. Their average age was 37.9 years, making the nearly two years younger on average than the county's population overall.

However, the Church of Ireland, with 126,414 members at last year's census, experienced a 2% decrease.

In newly released figures from 2016 Census data, the CSO have revealed the county with the highest percentage of Catholics, as well as several other details pertaining to religion in the country.

Above summary of some of the headline results from Census 2016 for Co Laois, together with comparisons for Leinster and the State as a whole are attached for information.

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Fewer Catholics, while 'no religion' up 74% - Census