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Mayo and Kerry have oldest populations


Áine Ryan

IT may be a moot point whether old rivals Mayo and Kerry meet in the GAA championship battle this year but if they do they will have the oldest age profile in the country. A report last week from the Central Statistics Office reveals the average age profile in the two counties is 40.2 years, an increase of 1.6 years since Census 2011. Significantly, those living in urban areas were 3.9 years younger than rural residents. The national average age is 37.4, an increase of 1.3 years since 2011.
While the numbers in the pre-school and young adults categories fell in Mayo and nationally, the county recorded a higher percentage decline than the national trend. Indeed, the young adult percentage was more than double (13.4 percent) the national average (6.5 percent). The age dependency rate in County Mayo was also significantly above the national average. This category is based on the young (aged 0-14) and the old (aged 65 and over. In  Mayo it was 61 percent and the national average is 52.7 percent while the province of Connacht returned an average of 56.6 percent.
The County Kerry town of Killarney has the oldest population of large towns in the country while the north County Dublin large town of Balbriggan has the youngest. Those aged 65 years or more increased most, up by 19 per cent, to more than 637,500, with the number of people in this age group living in nursing homes also having increased, by 1,960 to more than 22,700.
Census 2016 confirmed there were 456 centenarians living in the country on the night of the census, a major increase of 17.2 percent on 2011. The general ageing trend was confirmed by the fact that 37 percent of the population is 45 and over, in comparison to 34.4 percent in 2011 and 27.6 percent in 1986.
The greatest drop was in the youngest, those aged four years or less – this cohort fell by 7 percent to just over 331,500.
As a whole, the population has grown, by 3.7 percent, to 4.76 million.

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