Summary Results from the 2022 Census of Ireland show Kerry’s population as 156,458. Compare this to the population of Kerry in 1891– It was 179,136.
We can see clearly in the excerpt here from the Census of Ireland 1891 – a comparison from 1821 to 1891. This shows us where our population peaked in 1841 when we had 293,880 persons recorded in county Kerry. This is remarkable when you think that in 1841 we had just a few towns, each with a very small population. The vast majority of the people recorded in Kerry were scattered throughout the rural areas, most living then in 4th class houses. Just four years later, we were visited by the Great Famine with devastating consequences of death and emigration. We had a decrease of 55,626 people (18.9%) in 1851 – a shocking almost 19% of our population had emigrated or died – and that is not taking into account continuing births over those ten years.