The recorded population of Ballina's urban area is 10,409. Census 2006 figures released by the Central Statistics Office in September 2007 showed that Ballina had the highest rate of unemployment amongst large towns in the Republic of Ireland. Some 15.8% of Ballina's population was out of work when the 2006 census was taken.
Social Life & Culture:
Ballina has a very lively entertainment scene with ample choice when it comes to eating out and hitting the town! A longstanding reputation for being a great place to eat out, Ballina has a wide verity of restaurants serving Irish, European and Asian cuisine.
With its diverse range and large number of traditional and contemporary style pubs, Ballina has something for everyone whether thatâ€™s traditional Irish music, live bands, DJâ€™s or somewhere quiet where you can have a relaxing chat. For those who wish to party into the early hours Ballina has a great selection of late bars and 2 nightclubs.
The Old Newman Institute building on Barrett Street is home to the Ballina Arts Centre, which is currently redeveloping the centre to incorporate a 240-seat auditorium, dance studio, studio rehearsal space, a second exhibition gallery and coffee shop/restaurant. Ballina Arts Centre is access-driven and participatory in ethos.
In 2009 the Jackie Clarke Collection  is set to go on display when the Clarke Museum opens in the old provincial bank. The Jackie Clarke Library and Archive is one of the most important Irish collections in the world. During his lifetime Jackie sourced and purchased many unique documents that scholars had believed to be lost, including sole surviving copies of publications, rare handbills and proclamations, unpublished manuscripts and political writings. The breadth and importance of Jackieâ€™s passionate lifelong project was relatively unknown until after his death in 2000. He donated all his collections to the state, under the condition they would stay in Ballina.
Ballina's location on the River Moy favours salmon fishing, and one of the best spots, the Ridge Pool, is situated in the heart of the town.