Ireland

Ireland records highest immigration numbers in 16 years

In terms of emigration, more than 64,000 people departed Ireland in the 12 months to April 2023, data released by the CSO shows (PA)
In terms of emigration, more than 64,000 people departed Ireland in the 12 months to April 2023, data released by the CSO shows (PA) In terms of emigration, more than 64,000 people departed Ireland in the 12 months to April 2023, data released by the CSO shows (PA)

The Republic of Ireland has recorded its highest annual immigration rate for 16 years, with more than 141,000 people arriving in the country.

Around 42,000 of those coming to live in Ireland in the 12 months to April 2023 were Ukrainians fleeing the war, according to figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Of the 141,600 immigrants, 29,600 were returning Irish citizens, 26,100 were other EU citizens and 4,800 were UK citizens.

The remaining 81,100 were citizens of other countries, more than half of whom were Ukrainians.

Read more: 

  • Playing of 'anti-IRA' anthem Zombie as Ireland rugby team celebrate victory against South Africa sparks online scrum
  • Lough Neagh: Earl of Shaftesbury still open to sale of blighted body of water

It was the second year in succession where immigration numbers have exceeded 100,000 and the highest rate since April 2007.

In terms of emigration, more than 64,000 people departed Ireland in the 12 months to April 2023, compared with 56,100 in the same period the year before.

The CSO said it was one of the highest figures of recent years.

The overall population rose by 97,600 people to almost 5.3 million – the largest 12-month increase since 2008.

Along with the 77,600 net immigration number, there was also 20,000 of a natural increase, with 55,500 births and 35,500 deaths in 12 month period.

Cathal Doherty, statistician in population estimates and projections at the CSO, said: “Ireland’s population was estimated to be 5.28 million, rising by 97,600 people in the year to April 2023.

“This was the largest 12-month population increase since 2008 when the population rose by 109,200.”

Other data released by the CSO shows there were 806,300 people living in Ireland aged 65 and over in April 2023.

Those aged 65 and over have shown an increase in population share between 2017 and 2023, from 13.6% to 15.3% of the total – a volume increase of 153,900 people.

There were 1,338,700 people aged 45-64 in April 2023.

This cohort has also seen a rise in population share between 2017 and 2023, growing from 24.1% to 25.3% of the total – a volume increase of 180,800 people.

In terms of where people live, the proportion of the population living in Dublin has increased from 27.6% of the total in 2011 to 28.4% of the total in 2023 and now stands at 1,501,500 people.