Dumb it down
What's the story with the latest emigration figures?
New data from the OECD shows that more than 76,000 people upped and left Ireland in 2011, but how many of these were actually Irish?
So what are the latest emigration figures saying?
Well according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), over 76,000 people left Ireland in 2011 and many of them have no intention of returning to this wonderful emerald isle. It’s a sad state, but we guess it’s also just a sign of the times…
Wow, that’s a lot of people. So how many of those were Irish?
Well according to the figures, more than 40,000 Irish-born citizens left our shores for greener, more Australian (and elsewhere) pastures.
If you really want to boil it down you could say that Longford was completely wiped off the map… not because we don’t like them, but because it only has a population of 39,000 people. Overall, the amount of people who left Ireland equates to the same amount of people who currently live in Offaly.
Well there you go… so what other news was in this OECD report?
Well there was some pretty interesting stuff in there. Apparently, the report found a dramatic decrease in the number of people seeking asylum in Ireland.
Back during the boom - 2002 to be precise - the highest record of people seeking asylum was a whopping 11,634. However, these days, Ireland isn’t as appealing as it used to be, as only 1,250 people sought asylum here because of wars or other threats last year. That makes it the lowest recording since 1996.
Why such a sharp fall?
The OECD said that the sharp fall is mainly due to the 2003 Immigration Act and the 2004 Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, which withdrew birthright citizenship entitlements for expectant parents coming to Ireland.
Ah, I see. So how does all this emigration stuff compare to previous years?
Well the 76,000 that left last year is still not close to the 110,000 that left in 2007. In 2005, only 29,000 people left the country, so it’s been a bit of a sharp rise as you can see.
However, despite the economic crash, the number of Irish ex-pats returning to the land of their birth rose from 133,000 to 171,000 between 2010 and 2011. So at least that’s good, we guess.