Skip navigation


Population - Statistics

1700 - 1,250,000

1800 - 4,500,000

1841 - 8,175,124

1851 - 6,552,000 (should have been expected to be 8,500,000)


In 1800 ([total] 4,500,000):

Catholic - 3,150,000

Protestant - 450,000

Presbyterian (Scots-Irish) - 900,000

Sprinking of Methodists & other dissenters



Population - Relationship to Poverty

(from the Union to the Great Famine)

The root of the unsatisfactory conditions was the evil land system. There was still no security of tenure, or compensation for improvements, rents were high, agricultural wages low, and the people overcrowded on the land were living on the verge of starvation. All through the period the condition of the peasantry seems to have worsened...since in the interests of the provision trade more attention was given to livestock than to tillage. The extraordinary growth of population was, however, the greatest danger Ireland had to fear. About 4 1/2 million in 1790, it actually rose to nearly 8 million just before the famine. Ireland was more densely populated than any other country of Europe, despite the fact that in this period nearly 1 million people emigrated to America, & that there was also much emigration to England & Scotland. ...All strangers to the island in this half-century were immensely struck by the poverty of the peasantry.

- Constantia Maxwell, The Stranger in Ireland, p. 211 (Mil. Lib.)1


For poverty, see "Thackery" & "Johan George Kohl" (travelers)



1 Constantia Elizabeth Maxwell, The Stranger in Ireland: From the Reign of Elizabeth to the Great Famine. London : Cape, 1954.