Ethnic or Cultural Background


Central Statistics Office (CSO)

Key information

The population is classified by ethnic or cultural group and by each of the following: county; age group; marital status by age group; town; country of birth; nationality; religion; principal economic status; highest level of education completed; voluntary activity; ability to speak Irish. The Irish traveller population is classified by: regional authority area by town/rural; province by county; town; age group by marital status; single year of age by sex; age group by ability to speak Irish; religion; principal economic status by age group; participation rate by age group; broad industrial group; age at which fulltime education ceased; birthplace by age group; means of travel to work, school or college; distance travelled to work, school or college; province and county by type of household. Traveller households are classified by: composition of household; type of family unit by age group of eldest child; year house built by house type; motor car availability; pc ownership; access to the internet. Disabled travellers are classified by disability and age group. Almost all tables are also broken down by sex. Information is supplied in the Small Area Population Statistics (SAPS) classified by Census Enumeration Areas, Dáil Constituencies, Electoral Divisions, Gaeltacht Areas, Garda Regions, Divisions and Districts, Local Electoral Areas, Towns, Urban and Rural areas of each county.

A Methods and Quality Report is available for this statistic.


Census of Population


The Census tables on Ethnic or Cultural Background are based in general on persons usually resident and present in the State on Census Night, as the inclusion of visitors from overseas would artificially skew these figures. The tables on Irish Travellers are based on the De Facto population (i.e. total enumerated population).


Every 5 years

Reference period

A night in April of the relevant census year

Start date



About 15 months after the date of the census


  • Ethnic or cultural group
    White (Irish; Irish traveller; Any other white background); Black or Black Irish (African; Any other Black background); Asian or Asian Irish (Chinese; Any other Asian background); Other incl mixed background.
  • Marital status
    Single; Married; Separated/divorced; Widowed.
  • Province
    Leinster; Munster; Connacht; Ulster (part).
  • Region (NUTS3)
    Border; Dublin; Mid-East; Midland; Mid-West; South-East; South-West; West.
  • County (ethnic or cultural group)
    The 26 geographic counties.
  • County or City (traveller population)
    The 34 administrative counties.
  • Economic status
    In labour force (At work; Looking for first regular job; Unemployed); Not in labour force (Student; Looking after home/family; Retired; Unable to work due to permanent sickness or disability; Other).
  • Religion (broad)
    Roman Catholic; Church of Ireland (incl Protestant); Other Christian religion; Presbyterian; Muslim (Islamic); Orthodox; Methodist; Other stated religions; No religion; Not stated.
  • Nationality
    Irish; Irish-English; Irish-American; Irish-European; Irish-Other; EU ( each country listed); Rest of Europe; (Romania; Russia; Ukraine; Other); Africa (Nigeria; South Africa; Other); Asia (China; Philippines; India; Pakistan; Malaysia; Other); America (USA; Brazil; Canada; Other); Australia; New Zealand; Other nationalities; Multi-nationality; No nationality; Not stated.
  • Education level
    Primary (incl no formal education); Lower secondary; Upper secondary; Third level non-degree; Third level degree or higher; Not stated.
  • Birthplace (ethnic/cultural groups)
    Ireland (Republic); Northern Ireland; England and Wales; Scotland; France; Germany; Other EU; Other European countries; USA; Africa; Asia; Other countries.
  • Birthplace (traveller population)
    Ireland; Northern Ireland; Great Britain; Other.
  • Economic sector (broad)
    Agriculture, forestry and fishing; Mining, quarrying and turf production; Manufacturing industries; Electricity, gas and water supply; Construction; Wholesale and retail trade; Hotels and restaurants; Transport, storage and communications; Banking and financial services; Real estate, renting and business activities; Public administration and defence; Education; Health and social work; Other community, social and personal service activities; Industry not stated.
  • Irish speaking ability
    Irish speakers; Non-Irish speakers.
  • Household
    Permanent; Temporary.
  • Household composition
    One person; Husband and wife; Cohabiting couple; Husband and wife with children; Cohabiting couple with children; Lone mother with children; Lone father with children; Husband and wife with other persons; Cohabiting couple with other persons; Husband and wife with children and other persons; Cohabiting couple with children and other persons; Lone mother with children and other persons; Lone father with children and other persons; Two family units with or without other persons; Three or more family units with or without other persons; Non-family households containing related persons; Non-family households containing no related persons.
  • Travel to work, school or college means
    On foot; Bicycle; Bus, mini-bus or coach; Train or DART or LUAS; Motor cycle or scooter; Motor car (Driver; Passenger); Lorry or van; Other means; Work at or from home; Not stated.
  • Housing occupancy
    Owner occupied with loan or mortgage; Owner occupied without loan or mortgage; Being purchased from a Local Authority; Rented from a local authority; Rented from Voluntary Body; Private rented unfurnished; Private rented furnished or part furnished; Occupied free of rent; Not stated.


People and Society - Population

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