THE NUMBER OF non-Irish nationals living in Ireland has almost doubled in a decade, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.
There were a total of 544,357 non-Irish nationals living in the country in April 2011, up from 224,261 people in 2002. According to the CSO, the growth in numbers has continued since 2006, albeit at a slower pace than earlier years.
They come from 199 nations, with the majority speaking a language other than Irish or English in the home. Polish was the most common language, with 112,811 speakers, followed by Lithuanian, Russian, Romanian and Latvian.
“Ireland has become an increasingly diverse society over the past decade and the different nationalities that make up the population of Ireland have an increasingly important impact on the economy and society” said Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician at the CSO.
The number of Polish nationals living in Ireland increased by 93.7 per cent since 2006 to 122,585 in 2011, making them the second largest group in Ireland, slightly ahead of UK nationals who account for 112,259.
The majority of foreign nationals live in Dublin, with 88,038 and 49,517 living in the Dublin City and Fingal administrative counties respectively. 42,886 lived in Cork while Leitrim and Longford, with 3,703 and 5,477 non-nationals respectively had the lowest numbers.