Population of Ireland surpasses 5 million for first time in 170 years

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Aug. 31 (UPI) — For the first time since during the Great Famine in Ireland 170 years ago, the country has a population of more than 5 million people, government figures showed Tuesday.

The Central Statistics Office said that the population was estimated to be 5.01 million in April. It’s the first time the population has risen past the mark since 1851, when the comparable population was 5.11 million.

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Last year, Ireland had the lowest number of natural births since 2000 and an increase in those aged 65 and older.

CSO statistician James Hearty said the data reflects the demographic and social impacts of COVID-19, according to The Guardian.

In the 1840s, the Irish population exceeded 8 million before the Great Famine, known as an Drochshaol in Ireland, killed more than 1 million people and forced millions more to emigrate. The famine lasted between 1845 and 1852.

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