Over 1.1 million people reported experiencing at least one long-lasting condition or difficulty in Census 2022
- In April 2022, over 1.1 million people (22% of the population) reported having experienced at least one long-lasting condition or difficulty.
- In Fingal, 19% of the population had a long-lasting condition or difficulty, which was the lowest proportion in the country. County Wexford, at 24%, had the highest.
- More than 346,000 people (34% of the population aged 15 and over who experienced a long-lasting condition or difficulty) were at work.
- In towns with a population of over 1,500 people, the highest rate (91%) of people who reported good or very good health was in Watergrasshill in Cork.
- Among professional workers 72% reported very good health compared with 41% of unskilled workers.
- Almost 450,000 people, or 9% of the population, smoked daily while just over 226,400 people (4%) smoked occasionally.
- There were almost 300,000 people providing regular unpaid care which was 6% of the population.
- Some 57% of unpaid carers (aged over 15) were at work in 2022, up from 51% in 2016.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (28 September 2023) released Census 2022 Profile 4 Disability, Health and Carers. The report provides data, analysis and visuals on the types and extent of long-lasting conditions or difficulties experienced by the population, on our general health, and on carers providing unpaid care in Ireland.
Commenting on the results, Sheelagh Bonham, Statistician in the Census Division, said: “Today’s results provide vital data to help us to track the developments in these areas. More than 1.1 million people reported experiencing at least one long-lasting condition or difficulty which accounted for 22% of the population. In Census 2022, the two questions (Q15 and Q16) on long-lasting conditions and difficulties were revised to allow people to indicate the extent to which they experienced them which has helped to provide greater insights into the topic (More information on the changes to the questions can be found in the Editor’s Notes below and in the Background Notes).
On general health, it is interesting to see that fewer people (53%) stated their health was very good in Census 2022 which was a decrease since Census 2016 when it was 59%. Job type is measured against general health showing that 72% of professional workers reported very good health compared with 41% of unskilled workers.
For the first time, information on the smoking habits of the nation was part of Census results and it tells us that 9% of the population smoked daily and that daily smoking was less common among people over the age of 55.
The number of people who provide unpaid care has increased, as have the number of hours of caring. The percentage of the total population providing regular unpaid care was 6% of the population compared with 4% in 2016. Almost two-thirds of unpaid carers were aged between 40 and 64. The percentage of carers aged 15 and over in employment has increased to 57% in 2022 from 51% in 2016.”
Disability, Health and Carers – Some Highlights
In April 2022, more than 1.1 million people (22% of the population) experienced at least one long-lasting condition or difficulty. This included more than 400,000 people (8% of the population) with at least one long-lasting condition or difficulty to a great extent.
For children under 15 and people aged between 60 to 75, more males than females reported a long-lasting condition or difficulty, while the opposite is true for all other age categories.
In Fingal, 19% of the population reported a long-lasting condition or difficulty, which was the lowest proportion in the country. County Wexford, at 24%, had the highest. Offaly had the highest rate of children (up to 15 years of age) with a long-lasting condition or difficulty (11%), while Monaghan had the lowest at 8%.
In towns with a population of 1,500 and over, Saggart in County Dublin (the town with the youngest average age) had the lowest proportion of people with long-lasting conditions or difficulties (13%), while Ballyshannon in Donegal (the town with the oldest average age) had the highest rate (31%).
Almost 52,000 people aged 25 and over and living with their parents had at least one long-lasting condition or difficulty. For those who experienced this to a great extent, over 11,500 people reported a difficulty working at a job or business or attending school or college.
The total number of people in the country aged 15 and over and at work in 2022 was 2.3 million (56% of all people aged 15 and over). By comparison, just over 346,000 people (34%) aged 15 and over experiencing a long-lasting condition or difficulty were at work.
The unemployment rate for people experiencing a long-lasting condition or difficulty to a great extent was 22%. The overall unemployment rate as recorded in Census 2022 was 8%.
The general health question had five response options on the census form ranging from very good, good, fair, bad to very bad. The percentage of people reporting their general health status as either very good or good decreased from 88% in 2011 to 83% in 2022. All counties reported a shift from good to less good health between 2011 and 2022.
Fewer people (53%) said that their health was very good in 2022, down from 59% in 2016. There was a small increase in those saying that their health was good at 30%, compared with 28%.
Up to the age of 30, males were more likely to report very good health status compared with females. This changes after 30 with females being more likely to report very good health status in each age group rather than males.
In towns with a population of over 1,500 people, 91% of people in Watergrasshill in Cork reported good or very good health. High proportions (90%) of very good or good health were also reported in Bearna, County Galway, Malahide, County Dublin, and Carrigaline in County Cork. Towns where people reported lower proportions of good health included Castlerea in Roscommon and Ballymahon in Longford, both at 67% for very good or good health status.
Among professional workers, 72% reported very good health compared with 41% of unskilled workers.
Almost 450,000 people (9% of the population) smoked daily while just over 226,400 people (4%) reported they smoked occasionally in April 2022. Just over 60% of people (over 3.1 million) had never smoked while 19% (almost 975,000 people) had given up smoking.
The highest proportion of overall daily or occasional smokers was in the group aged 25 to 29 years, with almost one in four smoking.
The prevalence of occasional smoking started to decrease after the age of 30, while daily smoking did not start to decrease until the age of 55.
There were almost 300,000 people providing regular unpaid care in April 2022, which was 6% of the population. This was an increase of more than 50% in the number of unpaid carers since 2016.
Females continued to be much more likely to be unpaid carers and made up 61% of all carers in Census 2022 (181,592 people). These proportions have remained steady since Census 2011.
Looking at the age profile of carers, the vast majority (64%) were in the 40 to 64 age group. Another 15% of carers were aged 65 or over. There were also 4,759 young carers in the country, a young carer is defined as being aged under 15. There were 959 more young carers in 2022 than in 2016.
Almost half of carers (46%) were providing up to 14 hours of care each week, up from 43% in 2016. There was a slight fall in the percentages of carers providing care for 15 to 28 hours, and 29 to 42 hours each week. In contrast, 29% of carers were providing 43 hours or more unpaid care each week, compared with 21% in 2016.
Some 57% of unpaid carers (aged over 15) were at work in 2022, up from 51% in 2016.