Census emigration figures warn of ‘catastrophe’ ahead for Ireland says SF senator
2017-08-04 10:04:32 -
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By Staff Reporter

There is a need for serious discussion about Ireland’s future with latest Census figures showing a marked decline in the young adult population, according to a Sinn Féin senator.

“There has been very little effort to address the issue of youth emigration or provisions put in place to encourage our emigrant’s home,” says Senator Fintan Warfield, who cites a 12-per-cent fall – more than 119,000 – in the numbers of young people aged 20 to 34 between 2011 and 2016.

The statistics “highlight worrying issues  that are coming down the line for Ireland as we deal with increased levels of age dependency”, he added.

“The figures show that, since 2011, the number of people over the age of 64 has increased by 6.4 per cent and the number of children at primary school age has increased by 8.8 per cent, while the number of people between the ages of 20-34 has decreased by 119,252.”

Senator Warfield says the “extraordinarily high number” of young people who emigrated at the height of the economic crisis and during the austerity that followed continues to affect the country.

“This has been mirrored by decreases in the number of young people in employment. For instance, since Fine Gael came to office in 2011, the number of people aged 20-34 in employment has fallen by 68,000.

“If this trend continues, then our working population will struggle to be able to provide essential services for the young and the old and we will have a complete breakdown of the intergenerational social contract.”

The senator calls for “serious effort on behalf of this Government to remedy the situation. 

“So far, there has been very little effort to address the issue of youth emigration or provisions put in place to encourage our emigrant’s home.

“We must be mindful of what demographic changes have in hold for Ireland and use these Census figures as a warning that something needs to be done. 
“If not, we are sleepwalking into a serious social and economic catastrophe.” 

TAGS : Fintan Warfield senator Warfield
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