Immigrants in Ireland ‘appear to be concentrated in affluent areas’

Migrants with poor grasp of English more likely to face segregation, says ESRI report

The Diverse Neighbourhoods report, published on Wednesday by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), found little evidence of segregated communities or disadvantaged ethnic enclaves in Ireland.

The Diverse Neighbourhoods report, published on Wednesday by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), found little evidence of segregated communities or disadvantaged ethnic enclaves in Ireland.

 

Migrants with poor levels of English are more likely to become segregated from Irish society and live in more deprived areas with high unemployment rates, new research states.

The Diverse Neighbourhoods report, published on Wednesday by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), shows that while immigrants with poor English-language proficiency are at risk of segregation, most migrants are fairly evenly distributed across neighbourhoods in Ireland.

It found little evidence of segregated communities or disadvantaged ethnic enclaves in Ireland and noted that Irish cities had “relatively low levels of residential segregation” when compared to European and American cities.

“Far from living in ghettos, immigrants in Ireland appear to be concentrated in affluent areas with above-average educational profiles,” the report says.

Prof Helen Russell, who co-authored the report, described as “reassuring” the findings that migrants in Ireland were not concentrated in areas of disadvantage and are “relatively evenly spread across communities”.

Challenges

However, she did warn that pockets of groups with additional language needs could create challenges and would require more resources and support.

Most of Ireland’s migrant population, both EU and non-EU, live in urban areas, in particular in the city centres of Dublin, Limerick and Cork and the suburbs of west and north Dublin where there is greater supply of private rental accommodation.

However, immigrants from outside the EU tend to live in areas with above average unemployment which the authors warn could lead to higher rates of depression, crime, lower school performance and higher mortality.

Those with poor English language skills, who account for 1.8 per cent of the population, are less likely to live in large cities with higher numbers in towns such as Monaghan, Ballyhaunis, New Ross and Roscommon. They are found to live in more deprived areas with lower rates of third-level attainment.

With most non-Irish born residents living in rented accommodation, the report’s authors warn that “the current dysfunctional state of Ireland’s private rental sector” with “steeply rising rents and high levels of homelessness” could lead to problems around social inclusion.