Migration across OECD is on the increase

Rate of immigration to Ireland remains above the broader OECD average


After three years of decline up to 2010, international flows of migrants have since rebounded, according to a new report on migration trends published today by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2011 and 2012, four million people moved into and within the 34-member bloc.

The report shows that despite Ireland’s deep economic slump, the rate of immigration remains above the OECD average. In 2011, those moving to Ireland (which includes returning Irish nationals) amounted to more than 0.7 per cent of the population. The average across the OECD is 0.6 per cent.

Of the 32 OECD member states included in the report, Ireland had the seventh highest foreign-born population. Almost 17 per cent of those resident in the State started life elsewhere. The OECD average is just over 13 per cent.

Recession impact
As in most countries, the recession has hit immigrant households harder than native households. Although non-nationals are more likely to be in the workforce than nationals, they are also more likely to be unemployed.

Across the OECD job prospects for immigrants have worsened, with unemployment rising by almost five percentage points between 2008 and 2012, compared with a 3 percentage point jump among the native-born. Around one in two unemployed immigrants in Europe were still looking for work after more than 12 months in their new country of residence.

Global uptick
The global uptick in migration since 2012 has been driven largely by people moving within the European Union. Migration within the EU rose by 15 per cent in 2011, following a decline of almost 40 per cent during the early years of the crisis. The trend of people leaving countries hardest hit by the crisis is accelerating, rising by 45 per cent from 2009 to 2011.

The number of Greeks and Spaniards moving to other EU countries has doubled since 2007, reaching 39,000 and 72,000 respectively.

The two Mediterranean countries have the highest jobless rates in the developed world, with more than one in four people out of work in both economies.

Germany recorded a 73 per cent increase of Greek immigrants between 2011 and 2012, close to 50 per cent for Spanish and Portuguese nationals and 35 per cent for Italians.

The rate of increase of immigration to the United States remained steady in 2011, rising by 2 per cent.