Latest census results reveals 20% decrease in number of Travellers living in Leitrim

Latest census results reveals 20% decrease in number of Travellers living in Leitrim

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today published Census 2016 Profile 8 Irish Travellers, Ethnicity and Religion. The report shows that the number of Irish Travellers stood at 30,987, representing 0.7% of the general population in April 2016.

The report also details how both the proportion and total number of Catholics have fallen since 2011, with Catholics comprising 78.3% of the population in April 2016, down from 84.2% in 2011, while the number of people with no religion (including atheists and agnostics) increased by 73.6% to stand at 481,388 in 2016.

Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician, commented, “This report, the eighth of eleven thematic reports of
Census 2016 results, provides further insight into the demographic structure of our population, this
time looking at religion, ethnicity and Irish Travellers. These themes are examined by age, social
class, and household composition. As always all of this information is available on, where
users can also access detailed data for their own area.”

Leitrim highlights 

Irish Travellers

There were 211 Irish Travellers enumerated in the county in April 2016. This was a fall of 53 (-20.1%) on the number in 2011 (264). They made up fewer than 1 in 100 (0.7%) of the county’s population, which was the same as at national level.

There were more male (118) than female (93) Travellers. Almost half (49.3%) of all Travellers in the
county were aged under 20, compared to fewer than 3 in 10 (27.7%) of the county’s overall


In April 2016, those who indicated a “White Irish” ethnic or cultural background amounted to 27,053
people (84.8% of the county’s population), a decline of 224 on 2011. The next largest grouping – “Any Other White background” accounted for 3,170 persons (9.9%), an increase of 14.

Those with “Black or Black Irish (African/any other Black background)” comprised 95 persons (0.3%)
while 304 persons (1.0%) indicated an “Asian or Asian Irish (Chinese/any other Asian background)”.

A further 335 (1.1%) stated they were of “Other, including mixed background” while 730 (2.3%) did not state their ethnic/cultural background.

Religion / No religion
Catholicism remains the predominant religion, accounting for 83.2% (26,666) of Leitrim’s population in April 2016. However, this was down from 27,394 persons five years previously. The average age of
Catholics in the county was 39.8 years, which was the same as the county’s overall average age.
As with the State overall, the next largest group was those with no religion. In 2011, the 1,696 people with no religion comprised 5.3% of the county’s population. By 2016, this had increased to 2,397 people comprising 7.5% of the county’s population. Their average age was 37.9 years, making the almost two years younger on average than the county’s population overall.

The 1,102 Church of Ireland members in the county made up 3.4% of its total population. On average, Church of Ireland members in Leitrim were 5.3 years older (45.1 years) than the overall population in the county.

Muslims (268) and Orthodox (148) completed the top five.

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