Irish homemakers are a highly endangered species and have been disappearing at an average rate of 1,000 per month, every month, for 30 years.

That, on its own, is a very striking figure. But what makes it even more striking is that the number of private households has been going up by an average of 2,000 per month - during that same 30-year period.

Our population over the age of 15 increased by one million people, and the number of households went up by 726,000, yet the number of homemakers in Ireland actually declined by 350,000 people.

The data to enable these observations is contained in today's Census module about jobs and occupations published by Central Statistics Office.

30 years ago, in 1986, Census figures showed that 67% of Irish households had somebody who described their occupation as "looking after a home or family".

Today that figures is down to less than 18%.

In just one generation Ireland has gone from having a homemaker fully occupied on domestic duties in two out of every three households to having a homemaker in less than one-in-five households.

The Census figures also show that in 1986 almost one-in-four of those aged over 15 described themselves as fully occupied looking after a home or family. Now it is down to just one-in-twelve.

The broad implications of numbers like these, and the social consequences they imply, cut straight to the heart of just how much (and how fast) Irish society has changed over the past 30 years.


The Census figures:

Looking after a home/family:

Census 1986 - 653,843

Census 2016 - 305,556

A reduction of 348,287, or 53.3%, in 30 years

Number of Private Households:

Census 1986 - 976,304

Census 2016 - 1,702,289

An extra 725,986 private households, or 2,016 per month, over 30 years

Population aged over 15:

Census 1986 ......... 2,766,663

Census 2016 ......... 3,755,313

An extra million people over aged 15 years but 350,000 fewer homemakers