Net-migration rises in Ireland

Ireland has recorded its first net-migration increase since 2009, new figures show.

According to the latest data from the country’s Central Statistics Office, immigration trumped emigration by 3,100 people in the year to April 2016. In the same period of the previous year, over 11,600 more people had left the country then entered it.

The statistics show 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 per cent.  The number of inward migrants with Irish nationality increased from 12,100 to 21,100 in the year to April 2016, an increase of more than 74 per cent.

Prior to the global financial crisis in 2009, net immigration to Ireland had peaked at over 100,000 at the height of its housing boom in 2008. However, the financial crisis brought about a sharp decline to Ireland’s economy and as a consequence emigration soared. Between 2010-2013, during the EU-IMF bailout, lost around 30,000 people a year to emigration.

However, times have changed and Ireland’s economy is now growing again. In fact, economy is forecast to grow faster than any other in Europe for the third straight year in 2016, with the government forecasting GDP to grow by 3.4 per cent.

Unemployment has also almost halved in the past four years, falling from 15 per cent in 2012 to its current level of 8 per cent.

The likelihood is that net-migration levels will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, with an increase in people from Britain looking to move there following July’s Brexit vote.

The country’s population now stands at just over 4.67 million people.

Article published 24th August 2016