Need for more immigration data
Madam, – While I agree with Denise Charlton, of the Immigrant Council of Ireland (January 6th), that there is a need for care in interpreting work permits figures, I would like to point out that there are a number of sources of data available that assist in providing estimates of the numbers of migrants living in Ireland and show trends relating to immigration and emigration.
These include PPS numbers, live register numbers, child benefit numbers and the annual population and migration estimates which are published by the Central Statistics Office.
Another publication produced by the CSO is the Quarterly National Household Survey, which provides an estimate of the number of non-Irish nationals aged over 15 years. If we combine that with other sources, such as figures from the Department of Education and Science, for numbers of migrant children in school, we can estimate that there are approximately 550,000 migrants here.
While more accurate figures would be welcome, it would be wasteful of scarce public resources for the Government to establish a system to collect data on those leaving the country, as suggested by Ms Charlton. – Yours, etc,