Capital decline

The population of the Irish capital, Dublin, could decline for the first time since the Famine, according to predictions from the Central Statistics Office (CSO.) In contrast, the population of the commuter belt counties of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow should continue to grow. The projections for Dublin are premised on a decline in the number of immigrants moving to the city.

  • Brian Boru

    I’m not buying it. This is a hypothesis based on no net-immigration from 2011-2026. The recession should be a distant memory by then and even if not, the social-welfare system makes us very attractive to Eastern Europeans living in Ireland long enough to qualify for it. That will deter many from going home, as the fact that 44,600 foreign-nationals are now on the dole shows.

  • aquifer

    I’m not buying it either. Motorised transportation leads to ‘City Regions’ that nevertheless refer to a main hub. In years gone by a city boundary would have contained hundreds of thousands of people in an essentially pedestrianised area. Cars spread cities out, pancaking them under tarmac. The old city boundary need not mean very much these days.

    It may become more meaningful to think of Bellin or Dubfast, a twinned city region with superfast train connections. Cork is much further away from Dublin than Belfast.

  • The Raven

    Brian, a fair point. May I quantify it slightly? I do some work with migrant workers, (and migrant non-workers) and many of them are staying because they can’t afford to go home. Not just the plane ticket – but all the costs of “starting up” again when they reach there. Not disputing your point, but it’s more than just the dole factor.

    Aquifer – might Dublin (with the “boundaries) not decline because people are just plain fed up with choking on the crush of city life?

  • Mack

    I think, from reading other analysis online ( – that the population of Greater Dublin was projected to increase massively under same conditions.

  • The Raven, if that is the reason, then I would inform you that there is actually a scheme in place whereby migrant workers in hardship cases can apply for state-aid to return home. Not au fait with it in detail, but it came up on The Right Hook on Newstalk106.

  • Ulster McNulty

    “The population of the Irish capital, Dublin, could decline for the first time since the Famine..”

    What is it about Ireland these days, are people reading, or writing, too much misery-lit? This is the second time I’ve seen a reference to the famine in the context of current economic difficulty?

    The population of Dublin increased during the famine, just as you would expect.

    Having looked more closely at the article in question it says the population dipped “shortly after the famine”, then more specifically “1861”, 10 years or more after the famine. It’s a bit like saying the DUP and Sinn Fein made breakthrough progress on devolving policing and justice shortly after the good Friday agreement.

    The next headline I’ll expect to read read is “Fall in sales of Irish bacon – sharpest since the famine”. It’s all bad news certainly, but these famine references sound quite daft.