Population statistics in RoI

Emigration of Irish nationals falls 20% in year to April

Just one in five emigrants unemployed before leaving, new CSO figures show

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A total of 81,900 people of all nationalities left Ireland in the 12 months to April, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. Photograph: Getty Images

Ciara Kenny

Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 11:42

There are early indications that the wave of mass emigration out of Ireland prompted by the downturn may be slowing, with the number of Irish people leaving the country last year falling 20 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.

Figures published by the Central Statistics office today show outward migration remains high however, with 40,700 Irish people moving abroad in the 12 months to April, compared to 50,900 in 2012/13.

A total of 81,900 people of all nationalities left Ireland in the period, down 8 per cent on the previous year, while 60,600 people immigrated, up from 55,900.

Fewer than one in five emigrants of all nationalities were unemployed before leaving Ireland, with the majority either at work or studying before departure. It is the first time the CSO has analysed the economic status of emigrants.

A breakdown of emigration by level of education, also published for the first time, shows 47 per cent of emigrants had a degree or third level qualification.

Irish people returning to live in Ireland from abroad made up 11,600 of the total number of immigrants, down from 15,700 the previous year. This resulted in a net outward migration figure of 29,200 Irish people, down from 35,200.

The number of births in the period was 67,700 while the number of deaths was 29,800, resulting in a natural increase of the population of 37,900.

The combined effect the natural population increase and migration brought the total Irish population to 4.61 million in April, up 16,500 on the same month in 2013.