More than 400 Irish emigrants are now returning home each week, according to the latest official figures.
That’s nearly double the rate of last year. The latest report by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that more than 21,000 Irish emigrants returned home in the 12 months to April. That’s about 406 a week and a 74% increase on last year’s figures.
However, there are still more than 600 Irish people leaving, giving a net exodus of about 200 a week. Nearly all are leaving to work or to study.
The CSO figures also show that for the first time since the economic crash, there are more people coming to live in Ireland than are leaving. There were just over 79,000 people of different nationalities who came to live here in the 12 month to April – a rise of 14% compared with last year.
Meanwhile, the number of people working in Ireland has broken through the two million barrier for the first time since 2008 at the start of the financial crisis.
The number of people in employment rose by more than 50,000. Four out of five of those jobs are full time.
Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said the rising employment figures would add extra impetus to the economy.
“These figures today from the Central Statistics Office are very encouraging and continue to show that the numbers of people employed in full-time jobs is increasing steadily and I am particularly pleased to see that all regions of the country are seeing employment growth.
“Having two million people now at work will also give a boost to the state as only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for the services needed to create a fair society.
“While there has been a drop in the number of people unemployed for a year or more, the long-term out-of-work still make up more than half the overall unemployment figure.”
Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland chief executive, welcomed the figures but warned that a growing workforce and population means extra pressure on state resources.
“Net inward migration along with an increasing population will place further demand on State resources in the future, highlighting further the need for government to prioritise investment in infrastructure as a matter of urgency.”
Are you returning to live in Ireland after working or studying abroad? Please tell us what made you decide to come back.