@TedxDublin @Aligrehan talked about families in Dublin City. What does the #census say?
Average Number of Rooms per Household, Dublin City
Following on from yesterday’s post and Ali Grehan’s TedxDublin talk about families living in Dublin City, I decided to take a look at what the 2011 census says. The problem, as described is that there is a lack of families in Dublin City Centre, in particular there is a lack of families living in privately rented or owner occupied accommodation.
Because I work visually, as usual I’ve created a range of maps. The first one, the big one on the left, shows the average number of rooms in households across the city. As you can see, “average” accommodation around the city centre is very small. There is some hope out towards the canals, and a lonely hold out “Merchants Quay D” in the city centre itself. The average doesn’t tell the full story in this case though. There could be lots of studios and lots of six roomed houses, which on balance would provide some scope for families.
% of Households with Four or More Rooms
To see this, I made another map, this time showing the percentage of houses with four or more rooms in a given area. I’m taking four or more rooms as the basic minimum necessary for a family. The very city centre still looks horrendous, but the there does seem to be at least some accommodation available that could suit a (small) family. So the accommodation is a bit of a stretch, but there might be some around the place.
What about the age profile of the city centre? A map of the average age doesn’t really tell us much. It’s in the middle, there are some much younger areas, probably the ones with a lot of children, and some much older areas. It could simply indicate a good mix of ages overall. Looking at it more closely though shows up the skew. This is a population profile diagram of 50 different areas of Dublin City:
Population Profile of the Dublin City Centre
You can clearly see the huge peak in the number of twenty and thirty year olds, and the lack of children. The dark black line is a more normal distribution from a random ED in Dun Laoghaire, added for illustration. What’s really noticeable though, is the lack of 10 – 19 year olds, there are some young children, but the middle group is missing. I suspect people are starting their families before they leave the city centre. That and the birthrate bump in the last few years is showing up.
And one final map, the percentage of households in different areas that have children.
Percentage of Households with Children
Again, that little red blob of no families in the city centre is clearly visible. I had hoped when I started this exercise that one area would stand out as having families. Somewhere that we could look at the characteristics of the area and figure out what’s making it work. Honestly, nothing is jumping out at me, beyond the fact that there are some families nearer the canals. The areas of the city centre with higher proportions of families are the areas with higher proportions of social housing. (This data is in the census, but I haven’t mapped/graphed it, just looked at the numbers.)
If this is something we want to change, that band along the canals is what needs to be built upon, using the classic linear development model. In this case, that would be to find an area with the features you’re looking for and to try to extend those features into an adjacent area which has some of those features. With that in mind, I can’t help but wonder if the Fishamble street project would be better placed somewhere like
- Smithfield, where the adjacent Stoneybatter/Cabra has a number of families already or
- Pembroke West A, where the adjacent Pembroke East B has a number of families already
Either way, I really hope the project succeeds, Dublin would be a much nicer city with a greater age diversity in the population.
Part 1 – Families in Dublin City
Part 3 – Ali Grehan’s Tedx Dublin Talk