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For the first time in years, more people are migrating into Ireland than leaving

There’s also been a surge in migrants with Irish nationality arriving in the country.

Image: Shutterstock/iurii

THERE’S BEEN A return to net inward migration for Ireland for the first time since the depths of the recession in 2009, new figures out today show.

There’s also been a surge in migrants with Irish nationality arriving in the country. The figure increased from just over 12,000 in the year leading up to April of last year to just over 21,000 in the 12 months leading up to April of this year.

Here are the other main points, from this afternoon’s CSO release:

  • There were 79,300 inward migrants in the year to April 2016, compared with 69,300 in the previous year, a rise of 14.4%
  • Outward migrants decreased from 80,900 to 76,200 or by 5.8%, in the year to April 2016
  • The majority of outward migrants were either at work or a student in the period prior to departing with one in ten (10.4%) being unemployed

The combined migration changes resulted in net inward migration of 3,100 in April 2016 compared to net outward migration of 11,600 in the previous year.

Births and deaths 

Today’s CSO stats also show that the number of births in the period was 65,200 while the number of deaths was 30,000, resulting in a natural increase of the population of 35,300.

The combined effect of natural increase and positive net migration resulted in an overall increase in the population of 38,400 bringing the population estimate to 4.67 million in April 2016.

migration Source: CSO

Different to the Census

The stats released today – officially the ‘Population and Migration Estimates April 2016′ – are separate to the Census findings, in that they include people who are normally in the country but who may have been away on the night Census 2016 was carried out.

Here’s the explanation, from CSO statistician James Hegarty:

The de-facto population is the number of persons recorded for each enumeration area on Census night, Sunday, 24 April. It includes visitors, tourists and persons who arrive the next morning, who were not enumerated elsewhere.
The usually resident population includes persons who are usually resident in Ireland plus those usually resident but absent outside the State on Census night. However, it excludes those who are temporarily present in the State, such as visitors and tourists.

Of the 76,200 people who emigrated in the year to April 2016, 31,800 were estimated to be Irish nationals. This represents a decrease of 3,500 on the year to April 2015 when 35,300 Irish nationals emigrated.

National Youth Council of Ireland

The numbers of young people aged 15 to 24 emigrating in the year to April 2016 was an estimated 31,700, which represents  an increase  of 1,300 over the figure of 30,400 in 2015.

The figure for inward migration among the same age group is 19,700. This leaves net emigration among those aged 15 to 24 at 12,000.

Reacting to the figures today, Marie-Claire McAleer, head of research and policy at the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) said: “It is worth noting that among those aged 15 to 24 we have net outward migration, despite the fact that overall the figures show net inward migration for first time in seven years.”

McAleer added that while she welcomes the increase in the number of Irish nationals returning, there remain “many impediments” to returning to Ireland.

“It is important to emphasise that provision of quality jobs with career progression opportunities and decent wages, affordable accommodation and access to quality services are key factors in young emigrants’ decision to return to Ireland and to remain living here,” she said.

With reporting from Alison O’Riordan 

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