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Statistics released for WMOF

By Ann Marie Foley - 16 August, 2018


The number of families in Ireland is up by over 3 per cent, and the number of Catholics is down by a similar percentage. This is according to a special infographic issued by the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) for the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) 2018. It also highlights that the number of Catholics in the Irish population has fallen from almost 95 per cent in 1961 to under 80 per cent in 2016.

The colour infographic, which has the heading “World Meeting of Families 2018”, illustrates that in 2011 there were 1,179,210 families in Ireland and in 2016 there were 1,218,370, an increase of 3.3 per cent.

Using 2016 census statistics, it also highlights that the number of Roman Catholics in Ireland was 3,729,115 in 2016, which is down by 3.4 per cent from 2011. The average age of Catholics was 38.

Taking the longer term view, there is a graphic that shows the highest to the lowest recorded percentages of Catholics in the Irish population. The earliest date was 1891, when Roman Catholics made up 89.3 per cent of the population or some 3,099,003 people. In 1961 some 2,673,473 people or 94.9 per cent of the population was Catholic, while in 2016 some 3,729,115 people or 78.3 per cent of the population was Catholic.

The infographic features on the CSO Facebook page and triggers the special Pope emoji or symbol on Twitter. A phenomenon of this modern age is the boomerang generation who return to their parents’ home, or even those who never leave. The infographic shows that 458,874 adult children are living at home – 58.6 per cent of these are male and 41.4 per cent are female.

When it comes to the urban rural divide, the figures show that 88.6 per cent of the population in Offaly is Catholic and in four other counties the figure is above 87 per cent. In the urban setting the lowest percentage of Catholics is in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown at 69.8 per cent and Dublin city at 70 per cent, while three other towns are under 75 per cent.

The average number of children in families is 1.38 across the state, but when divided into urban and rural, this is 1.34 and 1.45 respectively.

The number of couples with children was 643,904 and without children was 355,649. The number of one-parent families was 218,817.

Separately, WMOF2018 organisers have issued their own statistics which show that:

– 37,000 people are booked for the 3-day WMOF2018 Pastoral Congress in the RDS.

– 6,000 young people under the age of 18 will be present for the Pastoral Congress.

– 82,500 tickets are booked for the Festival of Families with Pope Francis on Saturday 25 August.

– 45,000 tickets are booked for the visit of Pope Francis to Knock Shrine to pray for families. These tickets were booked out in four hours.

– 500,000 tickets are booked for the WMOF2018 Closing Mass in the Phoenix Park, with 300,000 tickets gone in the first 24 hours of them going live, while another 24 hours later almost 400,000 tickets were gone. Within a two week period, all 500,000 tickets were booked.

Families are coming to Ireland for the WMOF2018 from 116 different countries, and 15,000 people from overseas will attend WMOF2018 events.

Statistics on food at the Phoenix Park Mass show that:
– There will be 150 food and drink outlets in 10 service areas around the outside of the Mass location in the Phoenix Park serving quick-serve convenience food for purchase.
– There will be around 800 staff working on the food and drink outlets who will need to be on site by 6 a.m.
– If half of the people there have a cup of tea or coffee, 31,250 litres of milk will be used.
– About 25,000 sliced pans are expected to be used for sandwiches.
– 72,000 bottles of water will be used for crew alone – this does not include attendees.

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