Monday 20 November 2017

Number of emigrants moving to Australia up 80pc

Aideen Sheehan

Aideen Sheehan

IRISH emigrants are fleeing Down Under with nearly 30,000 people moving to find work in Australia or New Zealand.

More than 45,000 Irish people emigrated in search of a better life last year, an investigation by the Irish Independent has found.

English-speaking destinations are high on the list for would-be emigrants, who are flocking to the Antipodes in their thousands, as well as heading to the UK, USA and Canada.

While research agencies and politicians have clashed over the scale of emigration, our figures chart the precise scale of departures to the five most significant Irish emigrant destinations.

And the statistics reveal that the numbers travelling to Australia to work rose 80pc to 24,316 since 2007. While most are on temporary one-year visas, some will seek long-term opportunities while they are there.

Meanwhile, the number of people travelling to New Zealand rose by 23pc since 2007 -- to 4,444 in the last financial year.

The flow of Irish workers to Canada trebled to 3,462 between 2000 and 2009.

Some 1,708 Irish emigrants also got permanent resident status in the United States, but it is believed the traditional flow of illegal workers from Ireland has largely dried up due to dwindling opportunities there and tighter controls.

But we found nearly 1,000 people are travelling to Britain every month to find work -- with the numbers expected to escalate in the new year.

These numbers would be swollen further by illegal and unregistered workers, as well as by emigration to other less mainstream destinations.

The scale of emigration has been a contentious issue amongst economic bodies in recent months. The Central Statistics Office refused to give an estimate in its recent survey on the Irish workforce.

But Australian government figures show that 1,530 permanent settlers from Ireland arrived in the financial year 2008 to 2009.

The number of Irish on one-year working holiday visas also soared to 22,786 -- up from less than 13,000 three years ago.

Immigration figures from Canada reveal that 3,462 Irish people got residency there last year, of which 2,959 were on temporary immigrant visas, and 503 got permanent residency. This is three times the level of Irish emigration to Canada seen a decade ago.

The figures show that 5,630 Irish nationals registered to work in the United Kingdom in the first six months of this year. The figures come from the UK Department of Work and Pensions and are based on national insurance numbers issued to immigrants.


They reveal that 11,050 Irish people emigrated to Britain in 2009, and this is up by 37pc since 2002 when it was just 8,090 a year ago. However, these figures for emigration would be significantly greater if they included building workers from Ireland working in England's black economy.

And the German government said that around 600 Irish nationals had emigrated to Germany during 2009, while another 1,200 had arrived between 2006 and 2008.

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) predicts that net migration from Ireland will be 60,000 next year -- but with 15,000 people arriving in the country, that means a total of 75,000 people will depart our shores.

The Crosscare agency, which provides advice to emigrants, said they expected the numbers using their service to rise significantly in the new year as that was always a time people looked at their prospects.

Irish Independent

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