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Irish population grows for first time since the famine
Scene representing the depopulation of Ireland in the middle of the 19th century. This image shows a crowd waiting for departure on a quay in Cork. Photo: Illustrated London News [London, England], 10 May 1851

Irish population grows for first time since the famine

Dublin, 8 February 1915 - The population of Ireland grew by 5,000 during 1914, the first time the country has seen an increase over a full year since the Famine of the 1840s.

The reasons for the increase are deeply rooted in the decline in emigration. Over the past year the number of emigrants leaving Ireland decreased by some 30 per cent.

A graph showing the gradual decrease in the number of emigrants leaving Ireland since 1890. The lowest on this graph is 23,295 in 1908.

20,314 people left Ireland in 1914, the lowest since records began in 1851.

Also, the number Irish people who had previously emigrated and have now returned to live in Ireland has increased by 35 per cent from 1913. Returned emigrants amounted to some 8,045 people last year, the majority of whom returned from the United States (4,740) and Canada (1,593). 

In addition to that, during 1914, 232 people of foreign birth came to take up permanent residence in Ireland.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.