kids encyclopedia robot

Mid-East Region, Ireland facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Mid East Ireland 2018
The Mid-East Region of Ireland with each constituent county highlighted

The Mid-East Region (coded IE062) is a NUTS Level III statistical region of Ireland. It consists of the territory of the counties of Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow. The Mid-East spans 6,891 km2, 9.8% of the total area of the state (roughly 7% of the Island) and according to the 2016 census had a population of 688,857, roughly 14.5% of the national population

From 1994 to 2014, the region was governed by the Mid-East Regional Authority. As of 2015, it is a strategic planning area within the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly.

The Mid-East has experienced continuous population growth since 1961. This growth is primarily influenced by the regions close proximity to Dublin. The region has large urban areas and contains almost 20 towns with a population of over 5,000. But the region mostly has a rural landscape and the total area of viable agricultural land in the Mid-East is 69%. The manufacturing industry employs a significant number of people in the region and it is the location of high tech industries in areas such as Leixlip and Bray.

The region contains notable tourist attractions such as Trim Castle, Kildare Cathedral, Brú na Bóinne and Glendalough. Prominent geographical features include the River Liffey, the Wicklow Mountains and the Curragh of Kildare which is a major centre of stud farming.

Former Regional Authority

The Mid-East Region was administered by the Mid-East Regional Authority, which consisted of 21 elected representatives including the region's representative on the EU Committee of the Regions. These representatives met once a month and were nominated from the regions three administrative councils:

  • Kildare County Council
  • Meath County Council
  • Wicklow County Council

The Regional Authorities were dissolved in 2014 and were replaced by Regional Assemblies.

Major settlements

A list of the ten largest settlements in the mid-east. County capitals are included and are shown in bold.

Rank Town County Population
(2011 census)
1 Bray Wicklow 31,872
2 Navan Meath 28,559
3 Naas Kildare 20,713
4 Newbridge Kildare 21,561
5 Celbridge Kildare 19,537
6 Leixlip Kildare 15,452
7 Greystones Wicklow 17,468
8 Arklow Wicklow 14,080
9 Maynooth Kildare 12,510
10 Athy Kildare 10,490


According to Eurostat figures for 2012, the region has GDP of €13,316 bn and a GDP per capita of €24,700. Figures released in February 2017, suggest that the unemployment rate in the region was 5.3% during 2016 - the lowest among other regions of the country.


Giving way to Irish in the Baile Ghib Gaeltacht - - 704757
Irish language roadsign in Baile Ghib, County Meath

The Mid-East is the second fastest growing region in Ireland after Dublin. All four counties in the Mid-East have population growth rates well above the national average of 3.7%. The Greater Dublin Area refers to Dublin and its three surrounding counties, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow, and contains 40% of the population of the state. Since the 2018 boundary changes, the population of Dublin and the Mid-East combined now stands at over 2 million.

County Area (km2) Population % of region pop. Change 2011-2016
Kildare 1,695 222,130 32.2% 5.6%
Louth 826 128,884 18.7% 4.5%
Meath 2,342 194,942 28.3% 5.9%
Wicklow 2,027 142,332 20.7% 4.2%

According to the 2016 census, the Mid-East had a population of 688,857, which constitutes 14.5% of the national population. Its population density was 100 persons per km, the second highest in the country. Kildare is the largest county in the Mid-East by population, and Meath is the largest by land area. Louth is the region's smallest county by both population and area.

The Mid-East contains Leinster's only Gaeltacht areas, both located in County Meath, at Ráth Chairn and Baile Ghib. They were founded by emigrants from Galway in 1935 and 1937 respectively. With just 1,771 native Irish speakers between them, spread over a total area of 44km2, they are the two smallest Gaeltachts in Ireland. According to the 2016 Census, the percentage of Irish speakers by county in the Mid-East is: Kildare (40.2%), Meath (38.6%), Wicklow (36.6%) and Louth (34.1%). Louth has the lowest percentage of Irish speakers of any county in Ireland.

The region has many large urban areas and contains 24 towns with a population of over 5,000; 14 of which have a population of over 10,000. 10 of these are located in Kildare, 7 in Meath, 5 in Wicklow and 2 in Louth.

Major settlements

A list of the ten largest settlements in the mid-east.

County capitals are included and are shown in bold.

Rank Town County Population
(2016 census)
1 Drogheda Louth 40,956
2 Dundalk Louth 39,248
3 Bray Wicklow 32,600
4 Navan Meath 30,173
5 Newbridge Kildare 22,742
6 Naas Kildare 21,393
7 Celbridge Kildare 20,288
8 Greystones Wicklow 18,140
9 Leixlip Kildare 15,504
10 Maynooth Kildare 14,585
kids search engine
Mid-East Region, Ireland Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.