Westmeath's population grew to 96,000 in last year's Census

Westmeath's population increased to 96,221 last year, according to a county-by-county breakdown of the Census 2022 findings.

The figure represents an increase of 8%, or 7,451, when compared with the previous Census, in April 2016, and was in line with a national population growth of 8% during the same period.

Roscommon's population grew at a slightly faster rate, of 9%, to reach 70,259, with the number of people in the county rising by 5,715 between April 2016 and April 2022.

In Ireland as a whole, the 8% rate of population growth over the six years saw the number of people in the country increase from 4,761,865 to 5,149,139.

This is the first time Ireland's population has exceeded five million since the Famine era.

Of Westmeath's population, 48,500 were female and 47,721 were male, which means there were 98 males for every 100 females.

The average age of Westmeath’s population in April 2022 was 38.6 years - fractionally younger than the national average of 38.8 years.

In Roscommon, the genders were divided almost 50-50, with the county's population including 35,089 females and 35,170 males. Roscommon has an older population, with the average age in the county standing at 40.8 years in April 2022, which was up from 39.7 years in April 2016.

In Westmeath, the number of dual Irish citizens increased from 1,826 to 3,180, and non-Irish citizens accounted for 11% of the county's population.

In Roscommon, the number of dual Irish citizens increased from 1,152 to 2,043 while non-Irish citizens also accounted for 11% of the county's population.

Nationally, dual Irish citizenship went up by 63% from 104,784 to 170,597 people, and non-Irish citizens comprised 12% of the population.

The proportion of the Irish population which identified Roman Catholic as their religion fell from 79% in 2016 to 69% in 2022. Nearly three-quarters of a million people said they had no religion, which represented around 14% of the population.

The Covid-19 pandemic made working from home much more common, and approximately a third of all workers in the State (747,961 people) stated in the Census that they worked from home for at least some part of their week. This proportion was somewhat lower locally, at 26% in Westmeath and 27% in Roscommon.

Some other local findings from the Census included the proportion of separated and divorced people, which remained steady in both counties at 7% of the population (aged 15 and over) in Westmeath, and at 6% in Roscommon.

The proportion of people who described their current health as 'good or very good' fell in both counties. In Westmeath, 82% of people stated that their health was good or very good in 2022, which was down from 87% in 2016.

In Roscommon, the proportion of those in 'good or very good' heath dropped from 87% to 84%, which was similar to the trend nationally.

The number of people (aged three and over) who stated that they could speak Irish in Roscommon increased to 26,853, compared with 25,825 in 2016. In Westmeath, the number of self-declared Irish speakers reached 33,598, up from 32,209.

In the Lake County, 632 people said they spoke Irish daily, while 523 in Roscommon said they used the cúpla focal gach lá.

Commenting on participation in the Census last year, Cormac Halpin, Senior Statistician with the Central Statistics Office, said: "The publication of Census 2022 results could not have been achieved without the overwhelmingly positive response from the public and we thank everyone who completed their census form on April 3, 2022."