Around 250 people a day leaving Ireland, official figures show

by Ray Clancy on October 3, 2012

Emigration is a result of rising unemployment and higher living costs

More young people are leaving Ireland to find jobs and start a new life overseas, official figures have confirmed.

There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence that the poor economic outlook, rising unemployment and higher living costs has resulted in more people emigrating abroad.

Now figures from the Central Statistics Office shows that in the 12 months to April 2012 the number leaving is estimated to have increased to 87,100 from 80,600 in the year to April 2011, a rise of 8%.

It means that around 250 people a day are leaving with 90% of them aged 44 and under. The number of Irish women emigrating rose from 17,500 to 20,600, while the number of Irish men leaving rose from 24,500 to 26,000.

The data also shows that the number of immigrants is estimated to have fallen marginally to 52,700 from 53,300 over the same period.

Just 2,200 people from the UK moved to the Republic in the period, while 17,600 people arrived from EU countries and 12,400 from the rest of the world.

These combined changes resulted in an increase in the net outward migration from 27,400 in the year to April 2011 to 34,400 in the year to April 2012.

Of the 87,100 people who immigrated Irish nationals were the largest group accounting for 46,500 or 53%. Net outward migration for Irish nationals increased to 26,000 in the year to April 2012, from 22,400 in the previous year. The figure for non-Irish nationals also increased from 5,000 to 8,400 over the same period.

Analysts say that people leaving is keeping unemployment lower than it could be but at the same time a high unemployment rate of 14.8% is encouraging people to leave. The unemployment rate for young people is even worse at 30% for those aged 18 to 24.

The latest report from the Nevin Economic Research Institute says that the Irish government is failing to introduce the stimulus needed to create jobs. It adds that plans by the Irish government to cut spending by €3.5 million in the December Budget will mean further job losses of 30,000.

Merrion Capital economist Alan McQuaid pointed out that immigration is the reason that Ireland’s unemployment rates have stayed so comparatively low.

Currently, 308,500 people are unemployed in Ireland while only 1,787,900 are in employment.

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