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Non-Chinese Asians are the fastest growing ethnic group in Ireland – CSO

The vast majority of people in Ireland remain “white Irish”, who at 3,821,995 people represents 85.8 per cent of the population.

File photo
File photo
Image: Keith Levit/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images

IRELAND’S NON-CHINESE Asian population is the fastest growing ethic group in the country, figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reveal.

Those of “any other Asian background” were found to be the fastest growing ethnic grouping since 2006, with an annual growth of 13.3 per cent.

This far outweighed overall population growth, which was just 1.6 per cent annually.

Having first been added to the last census in 2006, questions related to ethnicity and cultural background were again asked last year.

Those of Irish ethnicity grew by one per cent, while the increase of those from “any other white background” increased by 7.4 per cent annually.

Those of African ethnicity saw an annual increase of 7.7 per cent.

The vast majority of people in Ireland remain “white Irish” who, at 3,821,995 people, represents 85.8 per cent of the population.

“Any other white background” formed 9.3 per cent of the population, non-Chinese Asians made up 1.5 per cent, while “African” was 1.3 per cent.

The next greatest ethnic percentage was Irish Travellers who, at 29,495 people, represented 0.6 per cent of the population.

There are 17,832 people of Chinese ethnicity resident in Ireland (0.4 per cent) while those of mixed background – totalling 70,324 – make up 0.9 per cent.

Social class and ethnicity


(Religion, Ethnicity and Irish Travellers – CSO)

The classification of “any other Asian background” was found to have just under half (48.8 per cent) belong to professional or managerial and technical social classes.

Over one-third of the Irish ethnic group (36.6 per cent) are in either “professional workers” or “managerial and technical” classes. Only 2.9 per cent of Irish Travellers, however, occupy these top two positions.

Over 30 per cent of both Africans and Chinese occupy the top three social classes, which also includes the “non-manual” social class.

There are twice as many Chinese in the “skilled manual” category as there are Africans.

Place of birth

Only 5.8 per cent (223,403) of white Irish people were born outside of the country – the main countries being England and Wales (123,456), Northern Ireland (54,889), and the US (17,213).

Over 90 per cent of Irish Travellers were born in Ireland, with 98.8 per cent of all Irish Travellers Irish by nationality.

One-third (16,694) of people with African ethnicity were born in Ireland. Just under a third were born in Nigeria.

Three out of five people of Chinese ethnicity were born in China, with 8.1 per cent born in Malaysia and 7.8 per cent born in Hong Kong.

The “any other Asian background” group had 23.9 per cent born in India, 19.1 per cent born in the Philippines and 11.1 per cent born in Pakistan.

Irish Travellers

Ireland’s traveller population totalled 29,573 in 2011, with an average age of 22.4 years, compared with 36.1 years for the rest of the population.

There are only 337 male travellers aged 65 or older (2.3 per cent), compared to a percentage of 10.7 in the general population.

One-third of Irish Travellers between the ages of 15 and 29 are married, compared with just 8.2 per cent of the general population.

Of the 252 15 to 19-year-olds that are married, 91 were male and 161 were female.

Irish Travellers are twice as likely to be separated than members of the general population (5.5 percent versus 11.4 per cent). Their divorce rates are lower, however, at 1.8 per cent compared to 4.2 per cent.

Irish Travellers between the ages of 30 and 49 are three times more likely to suffer from fair, bad or very bad health when compared to the general population.

Where accommodation is concerned, the number of Irish Travellers living in caravans or temporary structures has halved since 2006, from 24.7 per cent to 12.3 per cent. In addition, 98 per cent of those living in permanent housing now have central heating, compared to 79 per cent in 2006.

For those still living in mobile or temporary accommodation (886), almost one in three have no sewerage facilities. One in five living in mobile or temporary dwellings had no piped water source in 2011.

Read: 84 per cent of travellers unemployed >

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