Work of art at entrance to Naas
New population projections suggests that the population of the Mid East region of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow could be between 14% and 7% greater in 2026 than that in 2016, depending on the method of forecasting.
The population of the three counties in the 2016 Census was 559,973.
The most optimistic scenario sees the Mid East growing by 79,000 people by 2026.
Figures released by the Central Statistics Office on June 20 suggest that one traditional method of projecting the population could be 639,000 or 14% ahead of 2016 by 2026 or 7% ahead of 2016 by 2021.
The lowest growth scenario is a rise of 6.6% to 597,000 by 2026 and a rise of 3.4% to 579,000 by 2021.
The three counties grew relatively evenly between 2011 and 2016, according to Census figures. Meath was the fastest growing county in the state, up 5.9% to 195,004, followed by Dublin (5.8%) and then Kildare (rising 5.8% to 222,504). Wicklow grew 4.2% to 142,425.