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Size, composition and historical presence of the Traveller and Roma communities


Travellers are an indigenous minority group in Ireland and have distinct cultural values and a shared history which sets Travellers apart from the majority population. Irish Travellers are native to Ireland. There is an estimated 40,000 Irish Travellers in Ireland, accounting for less than 1% of the total population.

Data taken from the 2011 census indicates that the average age of all Irish Travellers was 22.4 compared with 36.1 for the general population, and over half of all Travellers (52.2%) were aged under 20. Unemployment in the Irish Traveller community was 84.3%. Seven out of ten Travellers (69%) were educated to primary level at most, and the number of Irish Travellers who completed third level in 2011 was 115 (i.e. 1%). Irish Traveller households have a significantly lower home ownership rate than the general population with 1 in 5 (20.2%) Traveller households owning their home compared with 69.7% of the general population. 1 in 3 Traveller households (30.3%), with a total of 886 persons, who were living in mobile or temporary accommodation had no sewerage facilities in 2011.

In addition to Travellers, it is estimated that there are up to 5,000 Roma currently living in Ireland, mainly made up of persons of Romanian, Hungarian, Polish and Czech origin and their Irish-born children. Roma have the same rights and responsibilities as any other EU citizens living in Ireland.


Source: CAHROM thematic report on the empowerment and participation of Roma and Travellers in advisory bodies and consultation mechanisms (adopted in November 2016)

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