Census shows Republic's increase in foreign nationals over decade to 2011


THE NUMBER of non-Irish nationals living in the Republic increased by 143 per cent to more than half a million between 2002 and 2011, census figures published yesterday show.

When Census 2011 was carried out in April last year, 544,357 non-Irish people of 199 nationalities were living in Ireland. This marks an increase of 124,624 or 30 per cent since 2006.

Polish people represented the largest group, with their population increasing by 93.7 per cent since 2006, from 63,276 to 122,585. Just 2,124 Poles were living in Ireland in 2002.

People from the UK were the second largest group, with 112,259 living here in 2011, followed by Lithuanians, Latvians, Nigerians and Romanians.

Dublin city had 88,038 non-Irish nationals, the most of any administrative area, while Galway city was the most multicultural area, with 19.4 per cent of its residents recorded as non-Irish.

Donegal had the smallest proportion of non-Irish, at 8.1 per cent of the population. More than half of these were UK nationals.

Fingal saw the largest increase, with 15,151 more non-Irish nationals living there in 2011 than in 2006. Dublin city saw a rise of 14,049, while significant increases were also recorded in south Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Co Cork.

Ballyhaunis in Co Mayo had the highest proportion of residents who were not Irish of any town, at 41.5 per cent. This was followed by Clonee, Co Meath, Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, Kilcrohane, Co Cork and Edgeworthstown, Co Longford. There were 268,180 non-Irish nationals working in Ireland in April 2011, accounting for 15.1 per cent of workers at the time.

Polish and UK nationals made up 43.4 per cent of these workers, while the remaining 151,805 workers came from 185 different nations.

Some 49,915 non-Irish students and pupils over 15 were living here in 2011. The largest group were from the UK, followed by Poles, Chinese and Nigerians. A total of 30.7 per cent of non-Irish nationals were educated to degree level or higher.

Some 19,619 non-Irish people were retired, 75 per cent of whom were from the UK. Germans were the second largest group, with 826 retirees living here.

Of the 53,267 people who arrived in Ireland in the year prior to April 2011, 33,340 were non-Irish nationals. Most arrivals were European, with 4,112 coming from Poland and 4,072 from the UK. Over two-thirds were 15-34 years old. Denise Charlton, chief executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said the figures showed immigrants “did not just come here for the good times”, and that they remained committed to Ireland during economic recession.