Key Facts about Carers

Census 2011 – Key National Findings 

  • 187,112 people identified themselves as Carers (4.1% of the total population) 
  • Over 7% of Carers look after a child aged 15 years or under
  • Over 53% of Carers are looking after someone aged 75 years or over
  • 114,113 (61%) are female, 72,999 (39%) are male
  • The number of male Carers has increased by 20% since 2006
  • 4,288 (2.3% of all Carers) are children under 15 years
  • 32% of Carers work full-time
  • 80% of Carers who care for people over the age of 50 years are themselves aged 50 years and over

 Profile of Caring in Ireland

 The 2011 Census showed that Ireland has a growing number of Carers of all ages with a total of 187,112 persons (4.1 % of the total population) providing unpaid assistance to others in April 2011 compared to 161,000 in 2006.

This significant increase in the number of Carers will continue to grow as the population ages and medical advances in relation to disability and chronic illness will result in more people, of all ages, requiring care.

Of these Carers, 114,113 (61%) are women and 72,999 (39%) men. The number of male Carers however showed the largest increase rising by 20% since 2006 and there are now 4,288 Carers under the age of 15 identified by the Census.

Carers provided a total of 6,287,510 hours of care each week, giving an average of 33.6 hours of unpaid help and assistance each.   Females provided almost two-thirds (66.1%) of all care hours.  The peak age for caring amongst women was 45-49 with more than 1 in 10 (11.2%) of all women in this age group providing unpaid care, amounting to 572,680 hours every week.

Substantial amounts of care are being provided by the elderly (aged 70+) who provided almost 800,000 hours (795,916) of unpaid care a week in April 2011.



Central Statistics Office, 2012. This is Ireland – Highlights from Census 2011, Part 2. Dublin; Stationery Office.

Central Statistics Office, 2010. Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) – Carers, Quarter 3 2009. Dublin; Stationery Office

Barrett, A., Savva, G., Timonen, V. & Kenny, R.A.(2011) Fifty Plus in Ireland 2011. First Results from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. Dublin; Trinity College Dublin.