Anton McNulty and Michael Duffy
THE Central Statistics Office have confirmed to a Mayo News reader that comparison figures released last week with regard to the population of Mayo’s towns are not accurate as boundary changes have occurred since the 2011 Census.
Ballina resident Cian Ginty contacted the CSO when he saw figures in local and national press claiming that the population of Ballina had dropped by some 915 after the 2016 Census. However, on closer examination he saw that 80 legal town boundaries were abolished under the Local Government Act in 2014. As a result, the boundary of the town of Ballina has been amended and is now smaller than it was in the 2011 census.
The CSO confirmed to Mr Ginty that the decrease of over 900 people referred to in the press last week is mainly due to the boundary layer of Ballina having changed since the 2011 Census.
They also confirmed that the Ballina Urban Area (town) had a population of 10,361 in 2011 and now has a population of 10,637 in 2016, a difference of +276. Ballina Rural had a population of 16,416 in 2011 and now has a population of 15,981 in 2016, a difference of -435. The total difference overall is then -159.
Based on Mr Ginty’s inquiry, there is likely to be differences to the other Mayo town populations published in the press last week.
Those original figures had shown a decrease in the population of Castlebar, down 250, and a big increase in the Claremorris population, up 8.1 percent to 3,687. The population of Westport was also said to have risen by 2.2 percent to 6,198.
However, The Mayo News has contacted the CSO to determine whether those boundary changes affect these figures and will publish the response to this query in next week’s issue when the CSO clarify this.
The latest Census 2016 figures released by the Central Statistics Office focused solely on population distribution and movements and they reveal that the number of people living in rural parts of Mayo has increased very slightly.
The total population of Mayo is 130,507, 93,231 of which live in an area categorised as an ‘aggregate rural area’ – an increase of 488 people. The population of urban areas is 37,276, a drop of 1.6 percent.
Other aspects of Census 2016 revealed that of the Mayo-born people who have left the county, the majority are living in either Dublin or Galway.