The World Meeting of Families comes to a country in which new families struggle to find a place of their own.
The World Meeting of Families in Dublin is just around the corner, and as Ireland prepares to host the pontiff for the first time since 1979, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has released the numbers on families living on the Emerald Isle.
The Irish Mirror reports, as of 2016 there were over 1.2 million families living in Ireland. The country is up nearly 40,000 families since the 2011 census. The average number of children per family, between urban and rural areas, is 1.38.
According to the release, there are just under 460,000 adults still living with their parents. Of these, men make up the majority by a wide margin (58.6 percent). These numbers reveal that just over a quarter of all Irish families have an adult offspring living under the original family roof.
The Irish Mirror notes that the number of adults living at home would be about enough to fill up Dublin’s Phoenix park, where the pope will say Mass during his visit. It is unlikely that this will number will decrease quickly in light of Ireland’s persisting housing troubles. In a report from The Journal which traces the last two years of the Irish property market, it is suggested that it may take a decade for the housing sector to recover.
The CSO report also looked at Ireland’s Catholic population. As of the 2016 census only about 78.3 percent of Irish people identify themselves as Catholic. This is a sharp drop from the 1981 poll, which saw 93.1 percent of the population claim Catholicism as their religion. This is historically the lowest percentage of Catholics in Ireland. The highest was seen in 1961, with almost 95 percent.
During his trip to Ireland, Pope Francis will visit some of the most and least Catholic areas of the country: County Mayo which has a Catholic percentage of 88.2 percent, and Dublin City, which has a Catholic population of 70 percent.