Immigration decreases by nearly 24% in year to April 2021

01 Sep 2021

The 2021 Population and Migration Estimates released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that the number of immigrants is estimated to have decreased by 23.7 per cent year-on-year from 85,400 in 2020 to 65,200 in 2021. The number of emigrants also decreased from 56,500 to 54,000 in the year to April 2021.

These combined changes have resulted in net inward migration of 11,200 (-61.2%) for Ireland in the year up to April 2021, compared to +28,900 in 2020. The combined effect of positive net migration and natural increase resulted in an overall increase of the population of 34,000, bringing the population estimate to 5.01 million in April 2021. This is the first time the population has risen above five million since the 1851 census.

Immigration, Emigration and Net Migration in Ireland, 2011- 2021 

Of the 65,200 people who migrated to Ireland in the year to April 2021, some 30,200 (46.3%) were estimated to be Irish nationals, the highest returning number of Irish nationals since 2007. Of the 54,000 emigrants from Ireland, 22,800 (42.2%) were estimated to be Irish nationals. Consequently, Ireland experienced net inward migration of Irish nationals, rising to +7,300 in 2021 from 500 in 2020.

Key figures from April 2021 estimates:

  • In the year to April 2021, 35,000 non-Irish nationals arrived to live in Ireland and 31,200 non-Irish nationals emigrated abroad.
  • There were 645,500 non-Irish nationals resident in Ireland in April 2021, about one in eight (12.9%) of the total population.
  • Inflows of non-EU nationals declined to 14,100 in the year to April 2021, from 30,400 the previous year, a decrease of 16,300 (-53.6%).
  • The population aged 65 and over increased by 22,200 (+3.1%) in the year to April 2021.
  • The population increased by 34,000 (+0.7%) in the year to April 2021 compared to an increase of 55,900 (+1.1%) in the year to April 2020.
  • There were 55,500 births and 32,700 deaths in the year to April 2021, giving a natural increase (births less deaths) in the population of 22,800.

CSO note: This release was compiled during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results contained in this release reflect some of the initial demographic and social impacts of COVID-19. However, as the reference period for this release is the year to April 2020 the impact of COVID-19 is limited as much of the reference period predates the beginning of the pandemic.

For more information:

See CSO statistical release: Population and Migration Estimates 2021

See also: Useful Statistics