Today’s Census 2016 results show an increase in the numbers of Irish Travellers – a sign, partly at least, of the success in getting across the message of the importance of ethnic data collection.

Census 2016 results show a population increase of 5.1% to almost 31,000 Irish Travellers in the Republic.

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‘It is very important to get accurate ethnic data information. This enables the Government to plan properly for the needs of ethnic minorities. It also enables us to see what is working positively for Travellers within state systems and what is not,” said Pavee Point Co Director, Ronnie Fay.

“Pavee Point and the Census office have worked together at getting this message across to the Traveller community and today’s results show that this probably has resulted in increased confidence and understanding in Travellers self-identifying as Travellers,” added Ms. Fay.

Today’s results also show an increase in the numbers of Traveller in temporary accommodation.

“A 12% increase in the numbers of Travellers living in temporary accommodation shows that the accommodation situation of Travellers is worsening.

“We estimate that up on 5,500, or 18.6%, of the Traveller population are in need of proper accommodation and need to be included in Goverment plans to tackle homelessness,” said Ms. Fay.

Census 2016 also confirms that Irish Travellers are a young population with 73% aged 34 years or younger. It confirms that Travellers are also marrying young.

“This has implications for family supports for Irish Travellers,” said Ms. Fay. “As it stands many young Traveller families are forced to survive on lower social welfare payments for young people.”

Census 2016 shows that 22.6% of Travellers are married between 15 – 24 years compared to 1.2% of the majority population of the same age.