Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Comparison of counties in Ireland by club membership

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Comparison of counties in Ireland by club membership

In this post, we'll have a look at the adult membership in athletic clubs in each of the 26 counties in the Republic. (The counties in Northern Ireland are omitted as many of the clubs there are affiliated with the British equivalent of Athletics Ireland. As a result, the number of athletic clubs affiliated with Athletics Ireland is relatively low and does not reflect the true number of club athletes there).

The figures shown below are based on the membership numbers for Athletics Ireland as of the end of 2013.

First off, a reference point. This first chart shows the population of the 15 largest counties in Ireland. It might be fair to expect that most club members will come from the larger counties.

This is a breakdown of the adult membership in terms of the Athletics Ireland members in each county...

Some observations.....
a) Dublin is in first place but nowhere near the same ratio compared to the other counties as shown in the population chart.
b) In population terms, Galway is well behind Dublin and Cork but the ratio is much reduced in terms of club membership. This indicates the high membership of athletic clubs in that county.
c) Another county with relatively high membership levels is Tipperary. 5th largest in club members yet only 8th in terms of population.
d) Another big club county is Kilkenny. 8th largest in adult club members yet only 16th largest in population terms in the 26 counties.

Some counties however have small club numbers relative to their size...
e) Limerick...the 5th largest county in population terms but as from a club point of view, it's only the 11th largest county.
f) Kerry...9th largest county but only 17th in club terms. 

Here are some of the changes in the last 12 months...

The top 5 counties in terms of adult membership of athletic clubs...

Numbers in Dublin have grown by an impressive 32%. Cork is up 11%. Galway which already had a high club membership last year is down 3% this year....a little strange perhaps considering we are in the middle of a running boom. Meath up 30% and Tipperary up 16%.

Here are numbers 6 to 17 in terms of adult club membership...

Counties like Louth and Kildare are storming ahead with 48% and 33% growth respectively. Kilkenny like Galway is down a bit dropping 3%. As you can see, most of the counties are up. The one obvious county going in the opposite direction is Kerry which dropped 7% in 12 months. For a county with a low level of club participation already, the drop is a suprise.

And for the minnows....#18 to 26...

Even for the smaller counties, there is a growth in numbers except for Roscommon which is down 32%. Even little Longford managed to add another 9 adult members. ;o)

Overall, 22 of the 26 counties show a growth in adult membership in athletic clubs which is a very positive sign.

Previous posts.....
1) Overall size of athletic clubs in Munster (Aug 2013)
2) Breakdown of athletic clubs in Cork by size (July 2013)
3) Club membership in Cork at the end of 2013 (Jan 2013)

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