Number of Irish people moving abroad soars

by Ray Clancy on September 28, 2011

Sharp levels of emigration

More Irish people are moving abroad with more going to the UK or English speaking countries outside of Europe, the latest figures from the Central Statistical Office show.

Emigration continued to increase sharply from 27,700 to 40,200 over the 12 months to April 2011 while emigration among non-Irish persons fell for the second year in a row.

It means that 111 people have been leaving every 24 hours, or 3,000 every month, the largest amount since the 19th century. The vast majority who are leaving are aged 15 to 44 and most are moving to the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

People living in Dublin are most likely to move abroad while those living in the mid east of the country are least likely to seek a new life in another country.

It is said that the slow economy and soaring unemployment are the main reasons Irish people decide to leave. Unemployment is at 14.3%.

Ireland’s economy has shrunk about 15 % since 2007 and unemployment has tripled, after a real estate boom collapsed. The jobless rate rose to 14.2% in the second quarter from 13.9 in the first quarter, a separate report showed today, with more than half of the unemployed a year out of work.

‘The numbers of long term unemployed continues to grow, creating a structural problem that will blight generations to come,’ said Mark Fielding, chief executive officer of Dublin based lobby group Irish Small and Medium Enterprises.

Irish nationals were by far the largest constituent group among emigrants at almost 53%, followed by European Union 12 nationals, that is from the ten accession states plus Bulgaria and Romania, who accounted for just under 20% of the emigrant population.

Overall emigration is estimated to have reached 76,400 in the year to April 2011, an increase of 11,100 or 16.9% on the 65,300 recorded in the year to April 2010.

The number of immigrants also increased over the same 12 month period from 30,800 to 42,300. While this has resulted in overall net outward migration remaining broadly constant with the previous twelve month period, 34,100 and 34,500 respectively, net outward migration among Irish nationals increased from 14,400 in April 2010 to 23,100 in April 2011.

Over the same period net outward migration of non-Irish nationals nearly halved from 20,200 to 11,000.

Emigration to the UK and the rest of the world showed large increases while there was a fall in emigration to the EU 12 countries.

Almost two thirds, 66%, of the population are aged 15 to 64, 22% are aged under 15 and the remaining 12% are 65 years and older.

The overall population increase of 0.3% was unevenly distributed across the regions, with the Mid-East showing the strongest growth at 1.8% and Dublin showing the largest decrease of 0.7%.

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