Official statistics show that Ireland’s population is at an all-time high of 5.1 million, recording the biggest annual increase of 88,800 since 2008. This figure includes both natural growth and immigration. The year 2022 displayed the highest level of immigration since 2007.
Despite a reported 59,600 leavers in a 12-month period, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reports a positive net migration of 61,100 an increase of 49,900 compared to 2021.
There are a number of factors and trends that can explain the population boom. Of course, part of the increase is due to natural growth. Within a 12-month period, there were 60,700 births compared to just 33,000 deaths. The birth rate is a 16% increase compared with the previous year.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ireland opened its borders to allow Ukrainians temporary protection. Ireland has since become home to approximately 65,000 Ukrainian refugees and continues to accept more. This unprecedented situation has undoubtedly contributed to the increase in Ireland’s population.
Similarly to how immigration statistics increased due to the war in Ukraine, death rates are also impacted by world events. In Ireland, 641 deaths were reported due to COVID-19 within a three-month period, equating to 6.7% of all deaths in 2022. This is quite a high percentage given the small time period.
Any population and immigration statistics are dependent on global events which can explain many of the fluctuations. Despite this, however, Ireland’s population has steadily grown due to immigration and is forecast to continue to do so.
In 2022, the CSO reports that there were exactly 120,700 immigrants within the Irish population. This number can be broken down as follows:
- 28,900 were returning Irish nationals
- 24,300 were EU nationals
- 4,500 were UK nationals
- 28,000 were Ukrainians
- 35,000 were from other countries outside of the EU and the UK
Immigration statistics have only been higher once before in the past 30 years, this was in 2007. The CSO reports the increase in immigration to Ireland as 85% compared to 2021. The demographic of immigrants within Ireland varies vastly, the age ranges of immigrants are:
- 49.6% aged between 25-44 years
- 4% aged 65 and over
- 20.6% aged 15-24 years
- 15.5% aged between 0-14
Over 50% of immigrants had a third-level qualification, the precise percentage is 58.2% – this is equivalent to a university degree or similar.
These statistics are comprised of people from various socio-economic backgrounds, ranging from returning Irish nationals to those seeking asylum in Ireland. Further statistics can be found directly from CSO reports, which also categorise immigration statistics based on gender, sex, religion and other key characteristics.
Similar to immigration statistics, the number of Irish nationals migrating also increased in 2022. 59,600 people emigrated from Ireland in 2022 compared to the 54,000 who left in 2021. This is an increase of around 10%.
With more people entering than leaving the country, this gives a positive net migration of 61,100, the previous year’s net migration was 11,200.
Of those leaving Ireland, 14,200 left to reside within the UK a decrease from 18,200 in 2021.
The demographics of those emigrating from Ireland are similar to that of those immigrating:
- 47.5% aged 25-44 years
- Fewer than 2% were aged 65 and over
- 10.3% were aged 0-14
- 29.4% were aged 15-24
Whilst more people returned to Ireland than those who migrated, there was still a decrease in those returning. 28,900 Irish nationals returned to Ireland in 2022, as opposed to 30,200 who returned in the previous year.
2023 and beyond
Obviously, predicting immigration and migration statistics isn’t easy. Unprecedented events such as the influx of Ukrainian migrants to Ireland are evidence that anything can happen which can rapidly influence the population and the number of people either leaving or entering the country.
The population of Ireland has never been higher and continues to grow, with periods of growth fluctuating throughout the years. It is projected that Ireland’s growth will continue in a moderate respect as time goes on. There is a projected net increase of one person every 16 minutes, this takes into account both natural growth such as births and also immigration and migration.
If you are thinking of emigrating, it is important to consult an immigration solicitor. McGinley Law has immigration solicitors in Dublin and Donegal with a wealth of experience in the field who are more than capable of assisting with any inquiries you may have.
Immigration law itself is extremely complex, and consulting an immigration lawyer is imperative not only to help you navigate the process but also to act as a trusted confidant and advisor in order to make the process as smooth as possible for you.
Every case is completely different, McGinley law has over 30 years of experience in immigration law and we pride ourselves on knowledge, experience, empathy and professionalism. Our mission is to assist and represent people in a range of cases to the very highest of standards.
Immigration applications can take approximately seven or eight weeks, however, each case is different, which is why it’s important to contact a professional immigration solicitor in order to ensure your application proceeds as smoothly as possible. You are also able to make applications for immediate family members, such as your children.
Whilst it is not a legal requirement to employ an immigration solicitor, it is advised due to the complex laws. Here at McGinley, we are able to provide you with resources to guide you through the process. An experienced immigration solicitor will save you not only time and money but also energy when completing your immigration application.
We can help you scope, write and submit an application, which due to the involvement of a legal professional would have a higher chance of being accepted.