By Chinedu Onyejelem
More and more foreign-born nationals are coming to live in Ireland, figures from the 2016 Census show.
Ireland’s immigrant population now stands at 810,406 as of April 2016 – a rise of 43,636 on the previous Census figure from 2011.
Ireland’s whole population was 4,761,865 in April 2016, a rise of 3.8 per cent in five years.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) added that 82,346 people moved to Ireland in the period between Censuses. Some 54,203 of these were non-Irish immigrants mainly from countries such as the UK, Brazil and Poland. The remaining 28,143 were Irish nationals returning predominantly from the UK, Australia and the USA.
Census 2016 also reveals that the total number of non-Irish nationals dropped slightly to 535,475, or 11.6 per cent of the population – the first drop since 2002 when the question was introduced.
However, the population with dual nationality (Ireland and another country) has almost doubled – rising by 48,879 to 104,784 – since April 2011.
Irish Travellers have also increased their profile, with 30,987 recorded in the latest Census.
The Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre said this rise was an indication of success in its efforts to promote the significance of ethnic data collection in Ireland.
“This enables the Government to plan properly for the needs of ethnic minorities,” said Pavee Point co-director Ronnie Fay. “It also enables us to see what is working positively for Travellers within State systems and what is not.”
However, Fay also urged State authorities to take the opportunity to resolve persisting problems faced by the Traveller community, citing a 12 per cent rise in the number of Travellers in emergency accommodation.
“We estimate that up on 5,500 – or 18.6 per cent – of the Traveller population are in need of proper accommodation and need to be included in Goverment plans to tackle homelessness,” said Fay.