Increased investment essential to meet needs of growing population

lego-1044891The release of the Census 2016 population results reveal the number of people enumerated on Census Night, Sunday April 24th 2016, totals 4,757,976 persons, an increase of 3.7 per cent on the last census in 2011.

The preliminary results confirm previous predictions that there would be an increased pressure on state resources over the coming years to meet the demand for services by the growing population. It is believed that this population growth is set to increase further in the coming years due to inward migration from overseas as the Irish economy continues to perform strongly.

Commenting on the release of the preliminary figures, Mark O’Mahoney, Director of Policy and Communications, Chambers Ireland said: “It is crucial that Government prioritises increases in capital investment in the short term to ensure that our housing, transport and education infrastructure can cope with our growing population. We recognise that efforts have been made to increase the capital budget allocation and that there are limited available resources, however, it is only through sustained capital investment that Ireland can avoid future infrastructural bottlenecks that will hinder our economic growth.”

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Population change varied widely across the country ranging from a high of over 8 per cent in Fingal to a low of -1.5 per cent in Donegal. Among the fastest growing counties were the four administrative areas of Dublin, along with the commuter belt counties of Meath, Kildare and Laois and the cities of Cork and Galway.

O’Mahoney added that, if managed effectively, population growth could benefit Ireland in the long term. “While a growing population does present its challenges, if Ireland can get its capital infrastructure right, a growing population will provide some very good news for the country and the economy. The population increase will mean more consumers and increased consumer spending, more workers for a growing economy, and ultimately more tax revenue.”