#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 13°C Monday 4 July 2022

Fascinating statistics compare modern-day Ireland to the country in 1916

Births, deaths, marriages … and the most popular baby names.

THE CENTRAL STATISTICS Office (CSO) has published statistics comparing modern-day Ireland to the country in and around 1916.

The figures, released to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, look at topics such as population, marriages, death rates and emigration.

Comparing censuses from 1911 and 2011, there has been a 46% increase in the population – up from 3.1 million to 4.5 million people. Age and county-by-county breakdowns can be read here.

POP Source: CSO

The death rate has decreased in the last century – from 16.1 per 1,000 people in 1916 to 6.3 per 1,000 in 2014.

Comparing causes of death in both periods, there has been a marked decrease in influenza and TB deaths, and a large increase in deaths by suicide (although this could be partially due to fewer deaths being registered as suicides in the past, something that is still an issue today).


Interestingly, the number of deaths due to heart disease hasn’t change hugely.

In terms of marriages, the number of Catholic unions registered has decreased from 92% to 60%.

Meanwhile, there are a LOT more cars on the road – up from 9,850 in 1915 to 1.9 million in 2014.

MARR Source: CSO

Rising leaders 

The CSO has compiled biographical information about people involved in the Rising, including Pádraig Pearse, James Connolly and Countess Constance Markievicz.

Padraig,Pearse,in,barrister,robes,vtls000643845_001 Pádraig Pearse in barrister robes Source: CSO

Countess,Markievicz,in,ballgown,vtls000643611_001 Constance Markievicz Source: Lafayette via CSO

Details about the men and women of the Rising can be accessed on the CSO website.

Baby names

Statistics have also been provided to highlight which baby names were popular in 1911 and 2014.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now


boys Source: CSO

There was much more variety in names in 2014 for baby girls. In 1911 the top 40 names for baby girls were used to name 63% of all baby girls compared to just 35% in 2014.

Mary was used to name 12.1% of baby girls in 1911 with 6.7% called Bridget. By 2014 the most popular name for baby girls, Emily, was used for just 1.9% of girls while Sophie was used for 1.4% of girls. Neither Emily nor Sophie appears in the top 40 list from 1911.

Boys names have become more varied too. In 1911 the top 40 names for baby boys were used to name 69% of all baby boys compared to just 41% in 2014.

One in ten baby boys in 1911 were named John with just under one in ten called Patrick. By 2014 the most popular names (Jack and James) were each used for about 2% of baby boys.

The full publication can be accessed here.

Read: The GPO’s flashy new 1916 exhibit is a cross between Rebellion and Call of Duty

Read: 10 million Irish parish records are now free to search online

About the author:

Órla Ryan

Read next: