Athlone is a town on the River Shannon near the southern shore of Lough Ree in Ireland. It is the second most populous town in the Midlands Region with a population of 21,349 in the 2016 census, and is considered the commercial capital of the Midlands.
Most of the town lies on the east bank of the river; however, by the terms of the Local Government Act of 1898, six townlands on the west bank of the Shannon were deemed to be part of the town and, therefore, part of County Westmeath.
The 2016 census recorded the population of the town at 21,349, a 5.9% increase from 2011. Recent growth has also occurred outside the town's boundaries.
Athlone is near the geographical centre of Ireland, which is 8.85 kilometres (5.50 mi) north-northwest of the town, in the area of Carnagh East in County Roscommon.