Dublin is Ireland’s capital and largest city with a population of 527,612 (2011) and it lies on the East coast of the Ireland. The Dublin metropolitan area is Ireland’s financial and administrative centre. Dublin is the hub of Ireland’s transportation networks and a key gateway for international trade via air and sea. The Republic of Ireland has a total population of c. 4,588,000 and of that population c. 1,273,000 live in Co. Dublin making it the most densely populated part of the country.

Read more about Dublin City in case study report TU1206-WG1-004

The Dublin Region comprises the administrative areas of Dublin City Council (pop. 528,000), Fingal County Council (pop. 274,000) South Dublin County Council (pop. 265,000), and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (pop. 206,000). With the exception of Dublin City, each of the county administrative areas has a mix of rural and urban zones.

The most urbanised and densely populated part of the City is administered by Dublin City Council. This central part of the city also reflects port and industrial land-use, brownfield regeneration and major infrastructure hubs and networks. The councils remit includes environment, recreation and sport, strategic planning and economic development, roads and transportation, housing and community, planning and development and culture and amenity. The administrative boundary corresponds to the Dublin City Council boundary and this is the area discussed in the City Studies report.

Since the 90s, the landscape of Dublin has change dramatically due to the rapid economic expansion during the Celtic Tiger period.

City Description

County Dublin is located on Ireland’s eastern coastal margin and occupies an area of 920 km² (c. 1.3% of the total area of the Republic of Ireland). Dublin is situated at the mouth of the River Liffey. It is bordered by a low mountain range to the south and surrounded by flat farmland to the north and west. The Liffey divides the city in two between the Northside and the Southside.


  • Dublin is the biggest city in Ireland with a population of 527,612 (CSO, 2011). 1,273,000 live in Co. Dublin making it the most densely populated part of the country. 
  • The number of households in Dublin City has decreased dramatically due to the recession. Demographic change implies that between 2011 and 2021, 180,000 additional housing units would be required for Ireland. From those, over 60% of these are required in Dublin. 
  • 2011 Census shows a decline in general health with age. People who live in the suburbs have better overall health compared with the people who live in the City Centre.
  • Dublin City Centre has population age average of 36.6-37.3 making it slighter older than the surrounding counties, but slightly younger that the west of the country.

Environment, land use and infrastructure

The total number of dwellings in the City of Dublin is 207847 (CSO, 2011) from those:

  • 10837 are detached houses 
  • 47998 are semidetached houses
  • 74179 are terraced houses
  • 54639 are flats or apartments in a purpose built block 
  • 10858 are flats or apartments in a converted house or commercial building 
  • 3697 are bedsits 
  • 5639 are not stated
  • According to the 2011 Census, 55% of commuters living in Dublin City and suburbs drove to work. 62693 people walk to work. 21% used the public transport to work and 5.9% cycled to work.
  • Dublin City Council is responsible for approximately 1400 hectares of public open space dispersed throughout the city in the form of public parks and other spaces associated mainly with residential developments.
  • Climate change predictions in Dublin City indicate an increase in the risk of flooding. This suggests that coastal defence systems may have to be implemented.


  • Economic activity in the Dublin region accounts for 47 % of national GDP. 
  • 34% of the State’s workforce lived in the Greater Dublin area in 2011. 
  • Some 84,000 people were employed in the Dublin Region in 2013, representing over 40% of the total number of people employed in the State. 
  • In Dublin City, the proportion of persons over 15 with a higher level of education is 35%.