upload image

Ireland Censuses, 1821-1891

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Profile manager: Charles P private message [send private message]
This page has been accessed 33 times.

Censuses of population are taken by governments to establish numbers and characteristics of a country's inhabitants. The first full government census of Ireland was taken in 1821 with further censuses at ten-yearly intervals from 1831 through to 1911. No census was taken in 1921, because of the War of Independence. The first census of the population of the Irish Free State was taken in 1926. The censuses from 1851 to 1911 were taken under the supervision of the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The 1926 and all subsequent censuses were taken under the Statistics Act, 1926. The responsibility for taking censuses was transferred from the Registrar General to the newly established Statistics Branch of the Department of Industry and Commerce. The Statistics Branch has since become the Central Statistics Office.

The original census returns for 1861 and 1871 were destroyed shortly after the censuses were taken. Those for 1881 and 1891 were pulped during the First World War, probably because of the paper shortage. The returns for 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 were, apart from a few survivals, notably for a few counties for 1821 and 1831, destroyed in 1922 in the fire at the Public Record Office at the beginning of the Civil War.[1]

Reports of the census returns still survive and can be found at various websites, including the OHPR Project (Online Historical Population Reports) from the University of Essex, a public research university in Essex, England and the Internet Archive, a non-profit library of millions of free books.


  1. The National Archives of Ireland, History of Irish census records.

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.