Catholicism rises in Leitrim along with
‘no religion’

Census results from last year shows that 86.2% of the population claim to be Roman Catholic, this is highest number of Catholics in the county since 1961.

Census results from last year shows that 86.2% of the population claim to be Roman Catholic, this is highest number of Catholics in the county since 1961.

The Central Statistics Office released the latest publication in its series of Census 2011 results last week, showing that 27,394 people in Leitrim were Catholic.

The publication, “Profile 7 Religion, Ethnicity and Irish Travellers – Ethnic and Cultural Background in Ireland”, presents a profile of the various religions in Ireland along with more detailed results on ethnicity and Irish Travellers in particular.

The Catholic population in Leitrim rose by 6.6% since 2006, which is impressive compared to the increase of 4.9% to 84.2% of the population for the State as a whole.

The total of those with no religion, atheists and agnostics increased more than seven-fold between 1991 and 2011 to stand at 1,696 or 5.3% of the population of Leitrim last year. There were 1,220 members of the Church of Ireland in the county accounting for 3.8% of the population in the county in April 2011.

The total number of Irish Travellers enumerated in County Leitrim in April 2011 was 264 - accounting for 0.8% of the population of the county on census night, compared with 0.6% for the State as a whole. Of these 147 were male and 117 female.

Over half of all Travellers (54.9%) in the county were aged under 20, compared to 52.2% for the State as a whole.

Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician at the CSO said, “This report provides further analysis of two important themes from the census 2011 results.

“Firstly it examines religion, looking in detail at the members of different religions, and those who have no religion in Ireland from the point of recent changes, occupations, level of education and other factors.

“The second major theme in this report is ethnicity with particular focus on the Irish Traveller population looking in detail at aspects such as marital and family status, household size, education, economic status, disability and living conditions.”

Ms Cullen concluded “This report again underlines the fact that Ireland has an increasingly diverse population where changing cultures and religious beliefs play an important part.

“The report provides yet more analysis and results from census 2011 on these themes and contains important information on Ireland’s largest indigenous ethnic group.

“Further details on these results, and all census data, from county level right down to town, electoral division and Small Area level is available on the census page of the CSO web site.”

To view and download the publication and search the interactive tables visit the CSO website at

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