Picture of Ireland How many people commute to Northern Ireland?
The Celtic Tiger period saw a remarkable transformation of the labour market: the number of people in work doubled in a little over a decade, reaching 2.14 million in the second quarter of 2008. This change was driven principally by women and by migration. At the same time, workers became more mobile, often commuting relatively long distances.
Aided by the peace process, cross-Border commuting between the Republic and Northern Ireland also grew, and although the number of people at work in the Republic has dropped by 310,000 since its 2008 peak, the number of people crossing the Border to work in the North has increased.
In 2006, 5,277 people (0.28 per cent) of the workforce lived in the Republic and worked in the North. By 2011 this had increased to 6,419 people (0.36 per cent).
Although this number is relatively low, it is still an important aspect of employment in the Border region, particularly along the Letterkenny-Derry corridor and in pockets of northwest Co Cavan, north Co Monaghan and northeast Co Louth. More than 30 per cent of all local workers in parts of the Inishowen peninsula work in the North, for example.
Derry city is by far the largest destination, accounting for 40 per cent of cross-Border workers from the Republic. Belfast accounts for only 6.3 per cent.
Other cross-Border towns, such as Newry, Enniskillen and Strabane, account for less than 5 per cent each. The remainder of the destinations are scattered around the North.
Most cross-Border workers are employed in the education, health and social sectors (30 per cent) and retail (20 per cent).
We do not know exactly how many people commute in the opposite direction.
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Ordnance Survey Ireland licence EN 0063512 © Ordnance Survey Ireland/Government of Ireland. Data source: CSO Powscar, 2011. Produced by All-Island Research Observatory. Not to be reproduced without permission from Airo