3. Population and Housing

Dúnta16 M.F., 2022, 9:00am - 14 D.F., 2022, 5:00pm
Carlow town is the largest urban centre and accounts for over one-third (35.1%) of the County’s population. Including Graiguecullen the population of Carlow Town extends to 24,274 making it the thirteenth largest urban area in the State.


The most recent published population data for Carlow Town, as per the CSO which includes Graiguecullen, was recorded as 24,272 in 2016 (Table 2). Overall the population of the town has increased by 31% between 2002-2016.

Urban ED and Graigue Rural ED, continue to experience significant levels of population growth (see Table 3). While this area extends beyond the Carlow Town boundary as defined by the CSO, it gives a clear indication of the extent of population growth within and proximate to Carlow Town.

Census Carlow Town including Graiguecullen




20,724 (+12%)


23,030 (+11%)


24,272 (+ 5.3%)


Table 2: Population of Greater Carlow Graiguecullen Urban Area and County Carlow (Source: CSO)

Preliminary CSO returns for 2022 at ED level which extends beyond the town boundary area have recently been published. Carlow Town together with the lands immediately adjoining same comprising Carlow Urban ED, Carlow Rural ED, Graigue

ED 2016 2022

Carlow Urban ED



Carlow Rural



Graigue Urban



Graigue Rural





28,234 (+11.6)

Table 3: Population of EDs which incorporate lands within the area defined as Carlow Town (inc. Graiguecullen) (Source: CSO)

Map 2: Carlow Town and DED Boundaries

Map 2: Carlow Town and DED Boundaries

Cumulatively the population of these EDs has increased by approximately 11.6%. Of particular note however, is the increase in the urban areas of Carlow and Graigue which resulted in an increase of 13% on the 2016 figure. The continued growth of the urban area provides for more sustainable environments with populations located proximate to areas of employment, education and community infrastructure. A continuation of this trend would support the policy of Carlow and Laois to create a sustainable urban environment, to support urban regeneration and to create a vibrant town centre.


Housing requirements for the Carlow-Graiguecullen Greater Urban Area are contained in the Carlow County Development Plan 2022-2028 and the Laois County Development Plan 2021- 2027.The residential unit target within the Carlow functional area is 1,330 units with additional residual provision (phased 2 lands ) of 333 units. Of the 1,663 units 900 are identified for the former town council area with the remaining 763 potential units within the Carlow Environs. 280 units are allocated to Graiguecullen between 2016-2027 under the Laois County Development Plan 2021-2027.

Carlow Town Aerial Image



  • Where should additional population be focused and how can we ensure it gives rise to sustainable patterns of development?
  • How can new developments contribute to the creation of sustainable communities?
  • How can the housing needs of all sectors of our community be adequately addressed?
  • How can new private and social housing be successfully integrated into existing and new communities?


Hi,  Please find attached the Department of Education submission for the Graiguecullen Joint Urban LAP. Please acknowledge receipt of this submission. Regards Mairead...
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