Latest data from the CSO on Migration and Population changes estimates for the 12 months period April 2011-April 2012 shows that during the period of so-called 'economic turnaround' marked by the officially 'EU-average growth' attained in Ireland, Irish emigration has hit new post-1990 record levels.
Top line numbers are:
- In April 2011-April 2012 Ireland registered 74,000 new births - a number representing the fourth highest number of births in any year since 1987.
- Over the same period, the number of deaths stood at 29,200, implying the natural rate of increase in Irish population of 44,900 - also the fourth highest rate in history of the series, tied with the identical rate achieved in 2008.
- In April 2011 - April 2012 52,700 people migrated into Ireland well below 69,900 average for 200-2006 period.
- Over the said period 87,100 people left Ireland - a historical record level, beating 80,600 record set in April 2010 - April 2011 period and more than tripple the average rate of outward emigration (28,500) for 2000-2006 period. Overall rate of emigration is now 23% above that attained in the peak pre-crisis year of 1989.
- Net emigration reached 34,400 in April 2011 - April 2012, marking the third highest rate of net emigration in history of the series. In 2000-2006 we averaged 41,400 net immigration per annum, implying a downward swing of 75,800 per annum. Net emigration hit the post-1990 record in the 12 months through April 2012.
- As the result, Irish population expanded by only 10,500 in April 2011 - April 2012 period - the slowest rate of growth since 1990. In 2000-2006 period, Irish population grew on average at the rate of 71,200 per annum.
Charts to illustrate these trends:
Breakdown of net emigration by nationalities shows that the principal driver of emigration from Ireland is outflow of Irish nationals from the country, confirming the trend established in 2011.
Referencing the trends in migration that existed prior to the crisis, the current crisis period is associated with potential net loss of 219,300 persons in the period of 2008-2012. In gross numbers terms, 358,100 people actually emigrated from Ireland in 2008-2012.
If there is such a thing as 'demographic dividend' Ireland today is running at a massive demographic 'loss'.