Emigration rate jumps by nearly half to 40,000


MORE THAN 40,000 Irish people emigrated in the year to April, a sharp rise of 45 per cent on the previous 12 months.

Latest migration figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show the number of Irish nationals who left was up from 27,700 to 40,200.

Overall emigration was up by 16.9 per cent to 76,400, with Irish nationals making up 53 per cent of that total. This was an increase of 11,100 on the previous 12 months to April 2010.

Emigration among foreign nationals fell for the second year in a row. Nationals from the “EU12” (the 10 accession states, Bulgaria and Romania) accounted for nearly 20 per cent of emigrants.

More than twice as many men and women of all nationalities left in the year to April than did in the same period in 2006. A total of 37,800 women and 38,700 men emigrated in the survey period.

Emigration to the UK and the rest of the world showed large increases compared to the previous period.

Some 18,900 people (54 per cent of them men) went to the UK in the 12 months to April.

The total numbers going to the UK were up 31 per cent on the previous 12-month period.

Emigration to the USA in the year rose by 57 per cent from 2,800 to 4,400. A total of 2,400 of those were male.

Some 30,100 people - almost evenly split between male and female - left to go to “rest of the world” countries (excluding the EU and USA).

This was a rise of 29 per cent on the 12 months up to April of last year.

The 25-44 age group accounted for the highest number of emigrants, with about 34,400 in that group leaving the State.

Some 33,100 in the 15-24 age group emigrated, with a further 2,200 in the 45-64 age group and 5,000 people aged 65 and over.

Most of the men who left the country were aged 15-44. About 18,300 fell into the 25-44 age bracket, while 15,000 were aged 15-24. Of the women leaving, most fell into the younger 15-24 group. Some 18,100 in this bracket left, compared to 16,100 in the 25-44 age group.

The total number of immigrants fell from 107,800 in 2006 to 42,300 in the 12 months to last April last.

Some 20,100 men immigrated, compared to three times that number in 2006.

Female immigration fell from 47,500 in 2006 to 22,300.

Of the 42,300 people who immigrated to Ireland, over 48 per cent (20,400) were in the 25-44 age group, with a further 9,200 coming from the 15-24 bracket.

The CSO said net outward migration was broadly the same as in the previous 12-month period, at 34,100 and 34,500 respectively. But net outward migration among Irish nationals increased from 14,400 in April 2010 to 23,100 in April 2011.

The natural increase in the population continued to be “very strong”, the CSO said.

There were 75,100 births in the 12 months to April this year, with 27,400 deaths.

This results in a natural increase of 47,700, or just over 1 per cent of the population.

“The combined effect of strong natural increase and negative net migration resulted in a relatively small increase in the overall population of 13,600, bringing the population estimate to 4.48 million in April 2011,” the CSO said.

President of the Union of Students in Ireland Gary Redmond said “continued inaction” at tackling soaring unemployment and emigration was hampering any hope of realising the Government’s ambitions of creating a smart economy.