Irish emigration figures drop for first time in three years

Irish emigration figures drop for first time in three years

The number of Irish emigrants is at a three year low – but figures are still high.

In the year ending April 2014, 81,900 people left Irish shores for work – down from 89,000 the previous year. The number of people aiming for Britain fell by 1 per cent.

The British Government stated that 16,370 new national insurance numbers were issued to Irish people in 2014.

Key destinations for young workers from Ireland all saw a drop in numbers.

Australia, in particular, saw a big drop. In 2014, there were just over 9,000 Irish people resident there; compared with 15,845 the previous year.

The National Youth Council of Ireland welcomed the news.

“We hope the forthcoming Government policy on the diaspora will have a focus on facilitating return migration and responding to the needs of young Irish emigrants abroad,” said NYCI policy officer Marie Claire McAleer.

The Irish diaspora worldwide, which includes over 800,000 first generation Irish people in Britain, received a boost earlier this year when the Irish Government created the post of Minister for the Diaspora for the first time.

While the emigration figure is still high, 60,600 people returned or moved to Ireland from another country, leaving a net emigration figure of 21,400 – a 35 per cent drop.