Sunday 15 September 2019

British overtaken as Polish population doubles

Mark Hilliard

THE Polish community in Ireland has now doubled in size to 122,585 -- some 10,000 more than those from the UK.

Census 2011 is the first time the country's ethnic population can be properly examined as it is only the second one to deal with immigration trends.

The 'other white' category -- primarily people of Eastern European origin -- makes up the largest population base outside of Irish residents, at nearly 413,000 people.

This is followed by 'other Asian' (66,858), which excludes Chinese nationals, and 'black Irish or black African' (58,697).

The census also reveals an increase of 32pc in the Travelling community from 22,435 to 29,573.

"We have seen strong evidence of more Polish women than men over the five-year period and more children among the Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian communities," said Deirdre Cullen of the CSO.

She said the increase made it evident that families, originally split between two countries, had since reunited in Ireland.


There are other small ethnic pockets around the country, including 17,832 Chinese (an increase of nearly 8pc); 6,381 'other black' (an increase of 68.2pc); and other non-specific ethnic groups, which have decreased by 12.3pc to 40,724.

Polish people make up the largest group, with the population roughly doubling from 63,276 to 122,585, while the second most common grouping -- those from the UK -- held firm at around 112,000.

Over half a million of Ireland's ethnic population speak a foreign language at home, with Polish, unsurprisingly, featuring most prominently (23pc).

French is the second most popular language spoken in Ireland.

There was a greater increase in the female non-Irish community over the five-year period -- 39pc or 76,500 compared with 21.5pc in men, or 48,200.

A summary of the non-Irish population noted: "In April, 2011, there were 544,400 non-Irish nationals of 196 different nationalities living in Ireland.

"However, a very small number of these accounted for the majority of persons in this group, with the top nationalities accounting for 70pc of the total."

Irish Independent

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