The Central Statistics Office (CSO) predicts that the population of Greater Dublin area will exceed two million people by the year 2021. It is estimated that the region will by then be home to an estimated 40 percent of a national population of five million people in the Republic of Ireland. This will mean that growth in Greater Dublin — which includes neighboring counties of Meath, Kildare and Wicklow — will take place ten years quicker than originally forecast.
The CSO bases its figures on the continued annual influx of 30,000 immigrants to Ireland and a significant increase in the birth rate. The demographic profile is also set to change, with a high increase in both the number of young people (0-14 years) and pensioners. It is a remarkable change since 1961 when the population of the state was just 2.8 million. However, the heavy concentration of people and resources in the Dublin area is creating a structural imbalance with the rest of the country, with associated pressures on housing, employment and transport. ♦