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Identifying dimensions of urban social change in Dublin- 1986 to 1996

Peter Kitchen


Since the mid 1980s, Ireland has been subjected to significant social, economic and demographic change. The transformation was especially apparent in Dublin, the country's largest and most prominent urban centre. The paper employs small area statistics from the 1986 and 1996 censuses and adopts a factorial ecological approach to investigate the nature and geography of urban social change in the Dublin urban region. Four principal axes or dimensions of change were identified: 'Family status', 'Socio-economic status', 'Demographic change', and 'Seniors/Retirement'. While the study found that overall, the Dublin urban region was characterised by stability between 1986 and 1996, a number of significant spatial variations of change were evident in the four Local Authority Areas under study, particularly in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and South Dublin. The paper also proposes several avenues for further research including an update of urban social change using data from the 2002 Census of Population when it becomes available.

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