The population of Ireland has been seriously influenced over the years by emigration. Many people left Irish shores in the search for work and a better life. The population continues to be effected today but this time in reverse, as expatriates are now returning home and young people are more likely to stay due to the ongoing relative success of the Irish "Celtic Tiger" economy.

Having decreased since 1926, the population has risen steadily from the low of the 1960s. Though the numbers of children in families is decreasing, less are emigrating and the population at the time of the last census in 2011 was approximately 4,581,269, an increase of 341,421 on the 2006 census. This represents an increase of 8.1% over the past five years, or an annual average of 1.6%, compared to 2.0% per annum in the period 2002-2006.

In a reversal of the situation in 2006, when there were slightly more males than females, there are now more females than males in the country with 981 males for every 1,000 females. On a regional basis, Dublin showed the lowest ratio with only 949 males for every 1000 females, while the Midland region was the only region to show more males than females with 1,002 for every 1000.

In April 2011 Kerry had a population of 145,502, consisting of 72,629 males and 72,873 females.

64,105 persons could speak the Irish language and of these 21,792 spoke the language daily.13,109 persons spoke a language other than Irish or English at home and of these 2,507could not speak English well or at all. Polish was the most common foreign language spoken at home with 3,942 speakers.

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