On 20 July the CSO released the Small Area Population Statistics (SAPs) from Census 2016. This is Census data at its most detailed geographic level; data across all demographic and socio-economic themes is available at spatial scales down to Small Areas. There are 18,641 Small Areas across the Republic of Ireland, each generally comprising between 80 and 120 dwellings. The Small Area data is of huge value for mapping and detailed GIS analysis, such as that carried out by AIRO.
For many data users however, Small Area scale is too detailed. Data at other spatial scales was also released with the SAPs, including Gaeltacht areas, Municipal Districts (95) and Settlements (846). Data for Settlements is a hugely useful resource and is also the spatial scale that many people feel most attached to, and indeed curious about.
It is an important resource for many stakeholders, including local authorities, community and voluntary groups, local development agencies, chambers, policy makers and others. But how to access the data may not be a very well-known, as it is separate to the Statbank system where all other Census data can be downloaded.
Downloading Census 2016 Settlement Reports
Step 1: Go to SapMap
Step 2: Click ‘Find Your Area’ (icon that looks like a blue thumbtack)
Step 3: Choose ‘Settlements’ from dropdown and type in name of settlement e.g. Gort, Swords.
Step 4: Map will zoom to show outline of the ‘Settlement’ boundary and the key population data. Click ‘For more information on Small Area Population Statistics 2016 click here’.
Step 5: You will get a detailed data report for that Settlement that you can download as a PDF file or an Excel Spreadsheet. You can download a full report of all data or individual reports for each data theme. Data on the following themes is available.
- Theme 1: Sex, Age and Marital Status
- Theme 2: Migration, Ethnicity, Religion and Foreign Languages
- Theme 3: Irish Language
- Theme 4: Families
- Theme 5: Private Households
- Theme 6: Housing
- Theme 7: Communal Establishments
- Theme 8: Principal Status
- Theme 9: Social Class and Socio-Economic Group
- Theme 10: Education
- Theme 11: Commuting
- Theme 12: Disability, Carers and General Health
- Theme 13: Occupations
- Theme 14: Industries
- Theme 15: Motor Car Availability, PC Ownership and Internet Access
The same process can be followed to download data for different spatial scales e.g. counties, constituencies, Municipal Districts. At Step 3, simply select the scale you want from the dropdown and type in name.
It should be noted that while this data is also available for 2011, as the settlement boundaries can change between censuses direct comparisons are not always possible.
This is a link to the CSO’s SAPMAP User Guide.
An Example: Mohill, Co Leitrim
Mohill is a village situated in north county Leitrim. Fig. 1 shows the initial SAPMAP image for Mohill. The settlement has a total population of 855 with 521 housing units.
By clicking ‘For more information on Small Area Population Statistics 2016 click here’ you are directed to a more detailed report. Fig. 2 shows part of this. At the top you can choose to download the PDF or Excel. Scrolling down the page shows all the data for each of the 15 themes, with the option to download each table in PDF or Excel.
For example Theme 8: Principal Economic Status shows there were 282 people resident in Mohill who were employed at the time of the Census, 185 who were retired and 51 students.
All data can be downloaded in Excel to allow analysis. For example, Fig. 4 shows the percentage of families in Mohill who are in each stage of the ‘Family Cycle’ with 20.3% of families consisting of adults only who do not fall into other categories, 15.6% being ‘empty nest’ and 14.6% being retired households.
The Settlements reports from the SAPMAP system are a very useful resource, particularly for local voluntary and community groups and others involved in planning and promoting development in town and village level.