The Famine in Ireland - Statistics

The Census figures of 1851 just do not add up, and this was known when the data was being
compiled. A comment from the Parliamentary Papers of 1856, referring to recorded deaths in
1842 [68732 deaths] says that these figures have "not afforded more than one half of the actual

Why are these figures of interest? because they describe numerically the suffering caused by the
infestation of potato blight 1845-1851 and the condition of the people for four years prior to that
time. They are the foundation to ongoing discussions of the famine and of the history of that time.
On a more personal note, I am putting together a one-name genealogy study based on my family
name, and I need to know likely survival rates to assess how many of my ancestors and their
relations should have survived the famine.

While I have found acknowlegements that the Census data is either incomplete or wrong, I have
not found accurate, reliable estimates anywhere.  I have produced some estimates for my own
use, and am publishing my figures here. I modified the Census data by.
A)  modelling the population change year by year, and for each age group
B) including migration figures in the changes
C) using recorded deaths in Dublin as a index for the entire country.

I have summarised the information into these pages, but if you need more detailed information,
email me:

births and total populations
emigration and migration

One brief comment on my recent reading of the information on the famine.

Everybody knew from 1840 onwards what was going to happen. Everybody in Ireland, the
Government, and in learned society. They knew what would happen even before the disease was
discovered in Ireland. They knew how dependent the population was on the potato. They knew
the likely effects of disease. They were as well prepared as they could be in 1845 with workhouses,
poor laws, and a system of administration which was sound.

For a variety of comment on the Famine, I include these
Links to other famine pages on the World Wide Web

And my study of my family name? the information ties in fairly well. There are about 30 percent fewer
LOUGH's recorded as having been born between 1940 and 1850. This was as much due to a fall in birth
rate as to death or emigration.

For those with similar studies of their family name, I will quote one statistic which may be of  interest to
you. In 1841 in Ireland there were 1,904,109 aged between 10 and 20 years of age.
In 1851, aged between 20 and 30, there remained 1,062,305.

 For those people comparing the famine with other disasters, in 1431, between the beginning of August
and Christmas, the black death killed 14000 people in Dublin alone. A comparable figure for 1847
was 5000.

If you intend to quote this data, I would appreciate at least an email. While I am confident the
information is correct, you use it at your own risk.

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6th October 1998.

The above page was published over a month ago. I am carrying out some further tests  on my data, together with some notes on other relevant sources, and will include progress to date on another page.
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20th May 1999 Counter added

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15 th July 1999 test ing split into:
internal consistency
external consistency

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