Census figures highlight region’s need for more and better elderly services

The latest Census figures shows there are more older people in Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim.

The first official figures from Census 2016 also show Sligo, Leitrim and Cavan to be among six counties with the highest numbers of elderly people living alone.

It all means there’s a growing need for more and improved services for older people.
In Sligo, there are now 10,624 people aged 65 and over, that’s a 17.5% increase in the last five years.

In Donegal, the figure for those 65 and over is almost 25,000, an increase of more than 16%.

And in Leitrim, there’s 5,409 people 65 and over, an almost 15% increase.

When it comes to the oldest grouping in the census — that’s those aged 85 and over — it shows there are 2,684 in Donegal, 1,215 in Sligo and 687 in Leitrim.

Leitrim has one of the oldest populations in the country, just after Kerry and Mayo, according to Census 2016.

The dependency ratio is another figure used by the CSO, which focues on the number of people outside the normal working age of 15 to 64.

Leitrim has the highest dependency ratio of any county in the country at almost 63%.

Donegal has just over 60.5% while Sligo is among the counties between 52% and 56%.

Justin Moran of Age Action Ireland says the figures are good news but they also highlight the need for support for older people, particualrly in the North West.