Limerick - Demographics

Demographics

Limerick is officially the fourth largest city in Ireland (after Dublin, Cork and Galway) with a population of 56,779 people according to the 2011 census carried out by the CSO). This was the largest population decline (down 5%) in the country according to the CSO after the 2006 census. The decline may be due in part to the Limerick regeneration process where in these areas the largest reduction was reported nationally and also to outward migration following the collapse of the local and national economy from 2008 onwards. Limerick also has a large suburban population adjoining the city but legally outside the city boundary. If this population is included it brings the population of the wider urban area to 91,454. This makes Limerick unofficially the third largest city in the state and the fifth largest urban area on the island of Ireland (after Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Derry). The overall urban area reported a marginal increase in population in 2011. Limerick is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Ireland. As with most other large cities in the country, Limerick has attracted a noticeable immigrant community over the past decade. The Polish community is the second largest outside of Dublin, with an estimated 10,000 living and working in the city. Ireland's first Polish bank opened in 2007. The African community has set up a number of churches, which are now part of the cultural makeup of the city.

About 41% of all housing within the Limerick City Council boundary is local authority, the highest in Ireland, however, this figure excludes Limerick's suburbs which are administered by Limerick and Clare county councils and may not give an overall accurate account of the wider city area. The unemployment rate in the city in the 2006 census was the highest in the Republic, at 14.6%.

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