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Galway’s population – bigger, older and less religious

Galway’s growing population is becoming less religious and older, according to the findings of last year’s Census which were released this week.

The population has grown by almost 20,000 since 2016, with the 2022 Census which was carried out in April of last year reporting a more than 7% increase in numbers across city and county.

In the same period, the population has got older with the average age in the county increasing from 38.1 to 39.7; in the city, the average age jumped from 35.9 in 2016 to 37.4 in the latest figures.

The county’s population is growing at a faster rate than the city, up by 13,933 (7.8%) in six years; the city has added 5,746 (7.3%) to its numbers.

The growth in population has been attributed in Central Statistics Office (CSO) data to a mixture of ‘natural’ increases as a result of new births, and inward migration.

In Galway City, there were six births per 1,000 population and the same rate of inward migration.

In the county, inward migration represented a greater proportion of the increase at seven per 1,000 to six births per 1,000 people.

Religious beliefs nationwide showed significant change with the numbers identifying as Roman Catholic declining from 79% of the population in 2016 to 69% in 2022.

In County Galway, it remains dominant with 78.5% of the population calling themselves Catholics – 11.2% said they had no religion.

In the city, just over half of the population were self-identifying Catholics (56.2%) while 20.9% had no religion.

Get the comprehensive insight into the Census figures in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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