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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: -1°C
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changing attitudes

Immigrants in Ireland are better educated than native-born nationals

New figures from the European Commission and the OECD found that 48% of immigrants in Ireland have studied at third level.

A NEW INTERNATIONAL report has shown that Ireland has the most educated immigrants in the EU.

The new figures have also shown that foreign-born individuals in Ireland are educated to a higher level than those native-born in the country.

It was found that 48% of immigrants in Ireland had been ‘highly’ educated (meaning they had acquired a third-level qualification) – a higher level than anywhere else in the EU.

In comparison, only 35% of the native-Irish population were shown to be ‘highly’ education – with 27% considered to have a ‘low’ level of education.

Only 20% of immigrants were counted as having a ‘low’ level of education.

Immigrants Ireland - 1 European Commission / OECD Categories go low educated, medium educated and high educated (left to right) European Commission / OECD / OECD

Relevant statistics begin on p146 of the report. 

These results come from a joint report between the OECD and the European Commission entitled ‘Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2015‘.

The new paper shows a marked increase in level of education among immigrants into Ireland over the past eight years.

In a comparison of the periods 2006 – 2007 and 2012 – 2013, a 6% increase was seen in the number of immigrants in Ireland with a third-level of education.

In the same period there was also a rise in the number of native-born Irish people with degrees -with the percentage rising from 27% to 35%.

What is the broader situation? 

In 2012, around one in 10 people in the EU and OECD area was living abroad – making up around 115 million immigrants in the OECD area and 52 million in the EU.

One finding in the report was that the magnitude of integration challenges do not increase with the proportionate share of immigrants in society.

It was also seen that around two-thirds of immigrants across the EU and OECD areas were in employment.

In its introduction, the report states:

Immigration and the integration of immigrants are repeatedly mentioned as one of the main issues of concern in public opinion surveys in many countries. At the same time, there are many preconceptions about the actual integration outcomes of immigrants and their children. Against this backdrop, having reliable facts is a prerequisite for a better-informed public debate and for better targeted policy making.

Read: This is GOAL’s response to Paddy Power’s immigrant ad

Also: Further 310 migrants rescued by Irish Naval ship this morning

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