This is how life in Ireland has changed over the last 100 years

What has changed in the century since the 1916 Rising? Virtually everything it seems, from how we name our children to how we travel.

By Conall Ó Fátharta, Irish Examiner


St Patrick’s St, Cork, at the turn of the century.


Life in 1916 Ireland: Stories from Statistics, by the CSO shows that the population has increased by 46% in the century since the Rising. Between 1911 and 2011, it went from 3.1m to 4.6m people.

However, we were a younger population back then.

Today, there are more middle-aged people (ages 45-64) than in 1911.

There is also a wider variety of names. For example, Irish names for children that are popular now, such as Aoife and Oisín, were virtually unheard of a century ago.

More than 12% of newborn girls in 1911 were named Mary, while Emily, the most popular name for girls in 2014, was given to less than 2% of girls.

For boys, the top ten names in 1911 were used to name 69% of all boys compared to 41% in 2014.

Diseases which are now easily treated were killers around the time of the Rising.

About one in eight deaths in 1916 was due to bronchitis and pneumonia, which killed 6,708 people, with another one in eight deaths caused by tuberculosis, which killed 6,471 people.

However, more people died from heart disease in 2014 than those in 1911.

Most deaths in 2014 occurred in older age groups but deaths in 1916 were spread more evenly across all age groups — one in five deaths were children under 15 years of age.

The rate of suicide has risen dramatically in the last 100 years, from 68 in 1916 to 459 in 2014. However, the failure to register deaths as suicide in 1916 may partially explain the large increase

A baby boy born in 2011 can expect to live for nearly 25 more years than a baby born in 1911, while a baby girl born in 2011 can expect to have an extra 28.6 years of life compared to a girl who was born in 1911.

For every 1,000 babies born during 1916, 81 died before they reached the age of one.

The highest rate of infant mortality was in Dublin City, at 153.5 per thousand births and the lowest rate was in Roscommon at 34.6.

By 2014 the infant mortality rate in Ireland had dropped to 3.7 per 1,000.

There were nearly 10,000 cars in the year before the Rising, with cars registered in every county. By 2014, there were almost 2m private cars registered.

Cork had a fleet of 35 electric trams in 1901 while the trams in Dublin had a fleet of 330 by 1911 and operated on lines which ran for 96km.

By comparison, in 2013 the Luas Red and Green lines in Dublin were 37km in length.

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