What's the difference between male and female emigrants?

Irish men more likely to leave for work, women more likely than men to move for love

Just over half of all male respondents left alone, compared to two in five women. Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

Just over half of all male respondents left alone, compared to two in five women. Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

 

Work is the main motivating factor behind men emigrating or thinking about returning to Ireland, whereas women’s motivations are more socially driven, according to the results of an Ipsos MRBI poll of recent emigrants for The Irish Times.The Generation Emigration Survey interviewed Irish nationals who had emigrated since 2008.

To find work or a better job is the main reason for emigrating for 52 per cent of men, compared with 39 per cent of women. Women are more likely than men to move to be with a spouse or partner. Slightly more men report feeling forced to emigrate, while slightly more women say they had chosen to emigrate.

Just over half of all male respondents left alone, compared with two in five women. Slightly more women left with a partner or spouse, and women are more likely to have left with friends or old work colleagues than men.

Three quarters of women respondents were working before they emigrated, compared with 70 per cent of men, and slightly higher numbers of men than women were unemployed before leaving. Of those who were unemployed, 75 per cent of men say they would have stayed if there was permanent employment here, compared with only 44 per cent of women, who would have left anyway.

Almost all respondents have found employment abroad, but men have found themselves in better jobs than those they were working in Ireland. Men are also more likely to have been promoted than women.

This is despite the fact that more highly educated women are emigrating, with 72 per cent of women who left having achieved a degree, masters or PhD, compared with only 59 per cent of male respondents.

While the majority of both genders see themselves returning at some point in the future, more women see themselves moving home in the next three years, while more men do not see themselves returning at all.

Of those who do plan on returning, 46 per cent of women see themselves returning in one to three years, while the same percentage of men see themselves returning in four to ten years.

Women who want to return are more likely to come home because of family issues or to start a family of their own, while men are more likely to return because of better job availability or an improvement in the economy.

Women also are more likely than men to visit home a few times a year.

This article forms part of the coverage of the Generation Emigration Survey 2016, a major poll conducted by Ipsos MRBI on behalf of The Irish Times between May 20th and June 2nd.  

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