POPULATION STRUCTURE IN BEAUFORT.
The population structure in Beaufort has changed somewhat since the Parish Census in 1984.
The proportion of the population in both the Under 14 and the rates for County Kerry as a whole.
In 1984 Beaufort had a birth rate of 20.5 per 1000 compared to a County figure of 16.5, this has now reduced to 16.4 per 1000 but is still higher than the County rate of 14 (one of the lowest in the Country, the National rate being 15.7). As a number of the families which have moved into the Parish recently are couples either newly married or with small children and those in the 20 – 25 year age group who have stayed in the Parish tend to continue to live here after marriage there are some indications that there will continue to be a birth rate similar to the present one for the foreseeable future.
As far as the Over 65’s are concerned, there have been a considerable number of deaths in this age group since 1984. As might be expected but one reason for the drop in numbers, may be that emigration from the area in the 1950’s led to a reduced number of people in the
55 – 65 age grouping 1984 so that the over 65 group would be lower in numbers due to this “missing” generation. Some may also have to move into the County Home or go elsewhere to live with sons and daughters who emigrated previously.
In the 20 – 25 year age group 53% of those who were in the Secondary school age group in 1984 have left the Parish. And some of the remaining number are in Third Level Education and will probably not find employment in the area so that they too will either emigrate or move to another part of the State. The only hopeful sign is that has been, as previously mentioned, immigration of couples with small children and that those in this age group who have stayed in the Parish tend to continue to live here after marriage.
The 25 – 65 age group seems fairly stable and there has been little emigration in this age group.
The increase in the 14 – 18 age group reflects the high birth rate in the late 1970’s – early 1980’s as those who were in the National School at the time have now passed on to Secondary School. However it is reasonable to expect that they will follow the pattern of their immediate successors and many will go on to Third Level.
Unless occupational opportunities are created in Killarney or Killorglin for those with Third Level qualifications most of this age group will probably not be living in the Parish in the year 2000.