Until the results of the 2011 Census are made public in 2012, the CSO’s estimate of population for April of each year will be the best indication we have of our overall population. This morning they released their estimates for April 2010 which show that the overall population of the State increased from 4,459,300 to 4,470,700, an increase of 11,400 the lowest increase since 1990 when there was an overall fall of 3,700. The other headline is that net outward migration for the year ending April 2010 was 34,500 (emigration of 65,300 partly offset by immigration of 30,800). Immigration is back to 1994 levels and emigration is back to 1989 levels.
Looking at the detail, Dublin’s population decreased by 0.3% (roughly 5,000 people) whilst the Midlands and East of the country increased by 1.6%. Our population is aging with 65+ numbering over 0.5m for the first time. Our birth rate remains one of the highest in the world and death rate one of the lowest.
Expected in the next few days will be the results of the partial review of ghost estates which is likely to show about 80-100,000 new empty homes. With a population growing at 11,400 per year and at 2.7 souls per household on average that means we have a need for 4,000 new homes plus about 5,000 to replace obsolete stock. New homes being completed this year are estimated at 10-15,000 with 8,383 homes completed to the end of August 2010.
Plainly we are building more homes than we need and we still have a substantial overhang of unsold homes. With supply:demand being an important factor in determining prices, there would appear to be overall pressure on existing price levels. Finally here is a compiled overview of our overall population for the past 20 years – and here is the spreadsheet.