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Numbers acquiring Irish citizenship rapidly increased between 2010 and 2012 – report

A new ESRI report looks at a number of factors of immigrant lifestyle.

Image: crowd via Shutterstock

THE NUMBER OF people becoming Irish citizens doubled between 2010 and 2011, and doubled again the following year, according to a new report.

The ESRI’s Annual Monitoring Report on Integration 2013 was published this morning, and analysed a number of areas of immigrant inclusion.

Between 2005 and 2012, 54,700 non-European Economic Association adults acquired Irish citizenship.

In 2012, 20,200 became Irish citizens.

It notes that non-Irish nationals have not “benefited from the first stirrings of recovery” in the economy, citing an unemployment rate of 18%, 5% higher than the rate for Irish nationals.

The report also details a high level of youth employment at 33%.

There was some positive news on the education front that although while grades among 15-year-old immigrants from non-English backgrounds were still lower on average, the gap had narrowed since 2009.

Income poverty rates were similar between Irish and non-Irish nationals.

“However basic deprivation (enforced lack of 2 or more items relating to food, clothing, heating and family/social life) was higher for non-Irish nationals, and was particularly high for Africans (44 per cent compared to 24 per cent for Irish nationals),” the ESRI detailed.

Commenting on the findings of the report, author Dr Frances McGinnity said that there has been “significant improvements in the processing of citizenship applications” over the past three years

“The immigrant population now comprises a large group of immigrants with Irish citizenship who share the same rights and responsibilities as Irish citizens by birth or descent,” she said.

Citizenship does not necessarily imply a full sense of belonging, but the very significant increase in the numbers applying for, and gaining, citizenship indicates progress towards the fuller integration of immigrants in Ireland.

A special theme of this monitor was migrant children at age 3, finding:

  • Immigrant children had healthier diets than their Irish counterparts.
  • Despite higher levels of education, immigrant mothers are less likely to be employed, except for mothers from Western Europe who are on par.
  • Experience of financial strain tends to be higher

The Immigration Centre called the report a “crucial piece of work” to allow for evidence-based strategies to be put in place.

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