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Census reveals Mayo is getting older

Census reveals Mayo is getting older

Anton McNulty

The number of teenagers and young adults in Mayo is declining, and the average age of the county’s population is increasing, according to results from the April 2011 census.
The Older and Younger results released by the Central Statistic Office (CSO) revealed that the average age of the population of Mayo has increased by 0.6 years since the last census in 2006 to 38.6 years of age. Overall, the average age of the population of the State has increased by half a year to 36.1 years since 2006.
While the overall population of Mayo is now 130,638, an increase of 5.5 per cent since 2006, the main increase was among the older generations.
The CSO report states that emigration is a factor in the decline in numbers of younger people. This decline is evident in Mayo, with the 19- to 24-year-old age group standing at 8,180 – a fall of 10.1 per cent since 2006. The 13- to 18-year-old age group in Mayo has shrunk by 5.1 per cent, now standing at 10,441.
There has been no significant decrease in the Mayo’s population aged between 30 and 65 years. The report states that ‘unlike the State overall, where the low point in the total population is mirrored by births 17 years previously, for Mayo the low point is age 21, reflecting the rural nature of the county as young people move away to work and study’.
The rural population of Mayo was older than urban areas by 3.3 years on average, while the  average age of females in the county exceeded that of males by 1.1 years. The west of Ireland has the oldest population of the country, averaging at 37.2 years of age.
In the main towns in Mayo, the largest population was among the 25- to 44-year-old age group, with 4,037 from this group living in Castlebar. The next highest group was the 45 to 64 age group, with 2,675; followed by 2,533 in the 0 to 14 age group. There were similar patterns in Ballina and Westport, while the 0 to 14 group was higher in Claremorris with 721 compared to 660 in the 45 to 64 group.

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