The 1831 census recorded the population of Mountmellick and local district at 11,390 people.
At the time of the famine in 1845-1852, the population recorded 8,000 people and due to migration and emigration the population has steadily decreased to the current population of around 4,000 people.
The major decrease in population was mainly due to the famine and the subsequent decline in its industry. Sadly today, Emigration is still a problem with around 30% of the young people moving abroad is search of work. On a positive note, some return seeking the relaxed life style and bring with them valuable experience of working in foreign countries.
As a result of emigration, Mountmellick as with many other Irish towns became the ancestral birthplace of many who are now living abroad in their own communities throughout the world, mainly the USA, Canada and New Zealand.
Australia also holds special status as it received over 4,000 female child orphans whose descendants are especially welcome to the Forum.
Rather than looking at the heartbreak that Emigration brings to families, the return of the emigrant and their families on holidays brings with them a celebrationary atmosphere to the community.