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13th Oct 2017

This is officially the most Catholic county in Ireland

Do you live here?

Conor Heneghan

It seems they’re, ahem, ‘Offaly’ religious in the Faithful County.

Offaly has a higher percentage of Roman Catholics than any other county in Ireland according to the latest thematic report from the 2016 Census.

Figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Thursday revealed that 88.6% of the population of Offaly identified as being Roman Catholic, a figure significantly higher than the national average of 78.3%.

The number of Roman Catholics is on the decline in Ireland; the 3,729,115 Catholics recorded in Census 2016 was 132,220 fewer than the last Census in 2011, with the overall percentage decreasing from 84.2% to 78.3%.

The most significant increase was amongst those who identified as having no religion.

481,388 people stated that they had no religion (including atheists/agnostics) in the 2016 Census, an increase of 204,151 (+73.6%) on the 2011 Census. That figure represents 10.1% of the population, the second largest category, and has increased by over 4% in the last five years.

The county with the highest percentage of people with no religion was Dublin (199,602 – 41.5%), while the lowest was Longford (1,904 – 0.4%).

As far as other religions are concerned, the number of Church of Ireland members declined (-2%), while there has been a significant increase in the number of people identifying as Muslim (+28.9) and Orthodox (+37.5%) in the last five years.

You can read the report in full here.