According to the CSO, just over 76,000 people migrated from Ireland in the year to April 2011. Almost 38,000 were female, which means that the gender breakdown was more equal than in 2010. The largest group of migrants was Irish men, at 23,100 (ca 30%), followed by Irish women, at 17,100 (ca 22%). Overall, though, there was a 4% drop in the number of migrant men, and a 51% increase in the number of migrant women, from the year to April 2010.

There was also an increase in the number of people moving to Ireland during the year. Just over 42,000 migrated to Ireland in the year to April 2011, an increase of over a third from the previous year. The largest increase is in the number of Irish people returning to Ireland, up from 13,300 to 17,100. There has also been a large increase (from 5,800 to 9,000) in EU12 nationals moving to Ireland, but this remains significantly lower than the peak year, 2007, when over 50,ooo EU12 nationals moved to Ireland.  Slightly more women than men moved to Ireland in the year to April 2011.

The ‘Rest of World’ remains the most significant destination for migrants from Ireland, with over 30,000 (ca 40%) people moving to places outside the EU and the USA. However, the UK has increased in importance as a destination, accounting for almost 19,000 (ca 25%) of all outward migration.

As in the case in previous years, a significant majority of migrants from Ireland fall into the 15-24 and 25-44 age categories (accounting for 43% and 45% respectively). However, the number of outward migrants in the age category 65 and over has doubled in the last year.

Mary Gilmartin