New Census 2022 Figures on Travellers shows overall increase of 6%

Census 2022 shows the number of Irish Travellers living in the State and counted in Census 2022 was 32,949, up 6% from 30,987 in Census 2016.

“This is good news,” said Pavee Point Primary Health Care Co Ordinator Mary Brigid Collins, “It shows the value of work of over 30 years in which Pavee Point and other Traveller organisations have undertaken in partnership with the Central Statistics Office to raise awareness about the importance of self-identifying Traveller ethnicity.

“As we know, data on ethnicity makes it possible to see the problems that Travellers and other  minority ethnic groups are facing.”

Young Population

The new figures, released today, show that the average age of Travellers was 27 years compared with 39 years for the total population which confirms that Travellers are a young population.

Traveller children under the age of 15 now make up 36% of the population, compared with 20% of the general population.

Worse off Health Wise

Figures also show that 5% of Travellers are aged 65 years and over compared to 15% of the population at national level and that 15% of Travellers experienced a long lasting condition or difficulty to a great extent compared with 8% in the general population.

“These figures are very concerning and show persistent health inequalities and big gap in life expectancy that we know exists between Travellers and the general population,” said Ms. Collins, “Figures in the All Ireland Traveller Health Study showed 3% of Travellers aged 65 and over so this new statistic of 5% shows a very concerning picture.”

Poor Living Conditions

Another concern is accommodation, as we know, which has a huge impact on Travellers’ overall health. The Census reports that 14% of Irish Travellers were living in temporary housing, the highest was in  Fingal with 18% of Travellers living in temporary units. “Temporary units’ effectively means Traveller families and children living on the side of the road, without access to basic facilities. This is unacceptable and shows the need for urgent action on building new Traveller specific accommodation,” said Ms. Collins,

“We know that poor accommodation, lack of education, employment and discrimination all impact on Traveller health.  This is why the full implementation of the National Traveller Health Action Plan is so important,” said Ms. Collins. 

Other key highlights from today’s figures:

  – 1,350 Travellers reported their health as bad or very bad, 4% of the Traveller population. This is twice as high as the proportion of the total population who reported their health as bad or very bad (2%).

  – The average Traveller family size is 4 persons per household compared to an average size of 2.7 for the total population.

Census 2022 Profile 5 – Diversity, Migration, Ethnicity, Irish Travellers & Religion