Census 2011 reveals that for the first time in the history of the state, the largest migrant group in the country is not from the UK. Poles have now taken that position, with a 94% increase in the number of Poles living in Ireland since 2006. In April 2011, there were just over 122,000 Poles recorded by the Census. With around 112,000, the second largest group was people from the UK, unchanged in number since 2006.

The overall percentage of people living in Ireland with a nationality other than Irish is now 12%, compared to just over 10% in 2006. However, the overall numbers have grown from around 420,000 in 2006 to just over 540,000 in 2011: an increase of 30%.

Almost all migrant groups in Ireland recorded an increase in numbers between 2006 and 2011. The largest numerical increases were among EU-12 national groups: Poles, Lithuanians, and Romanians. There were also large percentage increases among Hungarian, Indian and Brazilian national groups.

The largest percentage increase was among Mauritians: a 344% increase from 2006 means that there are now close to 3,000 Mauritian nationals living in Ireland, many of whom are students.

In contrast, there were small decreases in the numbers of people living in Ireland with US, Australian, New Zealand, Russian and Chinese nationalities.

The gender profile of some migrant groups in Ireland has also changed. In 2006, around 60% of migrants from the EU-10 were male. By 2011, there were relatively equal numbers of males and females from the EU-10 living in Ireland. This change is most noticeable among Polish nationals. The number of Polish females living in Ireland increased by just over 36,000 since 2006, while the number of Polish males increased by around 23,000 in the same period.

There are more females than males in a number of EU-15 national groups, including those from Austria, Germany, Finland and Spain. In contrast, 56% of New Zealanders living in Ireland are male.

With the exception of people from the UK, the age profile of migrant groups in Ireland is young. Around 12% of the total population of Ireland is 65 or over. Among those with a nationality other than Irish or UK, the corresponding percentage is just over 1%. A comparison of Polish and UK nationals in Ireland makes this point more strongly. Around 92% of Polish nationals are aged under 45, compared to around 54% of UK nationals.

Just over 92% of the population were living in the same place as a year previously. Of those who had moved address since April 2011, just 53,300 – 1.1% of the total population – had moved from outside Ireland. In contrast, around 6% of the total population had moved within Ireland during the year.

To download the Census 2011 data visit the CSO website here

To view interactive graphs/maps of Census 2011: visit http://www.airo.ie/mapping-module/census

Mary Gilmartin