18/12/2007

Ireland Tops EU With Fastest Growing Population

The Republic is now a European Union record breaker having the fastest growing population.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has published figures for the year to April 2007, which show the population grew by 2.5% to a total of 4.34 million people.

The figures reveal that two thirds of the population increase of 106,100 was accounted for by migration, with the remaining one third from natural population increase.

The total number of immigrants in the year to April 2007 rose by 2,000 to 109,500. However, the number of emigrants also rose to 42,200, therefore net migration fell from 71,800 to 67,300.

Meanwhile, as shown earlier this week when a single central Dublin road accident brought chaos to the city's traffic, the number of people driving to work by car, truck or van has also increased – up by 22% over the past four years.

Again according to the latest figures from the CSO, 225,000 more people between 2002 and 2006 used motor vehicles to get to work.

Their Travel to Work, School and College report gives detailed results of the census conducted on 23 April 2006.

Of the 1.7 million workers in Ireland, almost 1.1 million (57%) drove a car to work.

When combined with workers who travelled to work as car passengers or as van drivers, seven-out-of-10 workers were private vehicle users in 2006.

And distance isn't necessarily a factor either as of the 247,000 primary school children who were driven to school, more than half (55%) of the total were driven 1km or less.

Among secondary school students there was a marked difference in transport use between urban and rural dwellers.

There more than half of children in rural areas take the bus compared with one-in-five in urban areas. In all, 45% were driven 4km or less to school.

Just under a quarter of the Irish population has a car – nearly 1.2 million households owned at least one car in 2006, which is an increase of 170,000 compared with 2002.

(BMcC)

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