The Monitoring report on Integration 2020 is the latest in a series of reports on how non-Irish nationals fare compared to Irish nationals, in terms of key life domains: employment, education, social inclusion and active citizenship.
Labour Market (2019)
In 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, overall employment rates were slightly higher among non-Irish nationals than Irish nationals and, the unemployment rate, at just over 5 per cent, was similar and low for both groups. One important exception is for African nationals, whose unemployment rate was 12 per cent: this pattern has persisted throughout the past decade.
In 2018-2019, a higher proportion of non-Irish than Irish nationals, aged 25 to 34, had third-level educational qualifications (60 per cent non-Irish versus 53 per cent Irish). The proportion of young adults (aged 20-24) who had left school before finishing upper secondary education (early school leavers), at 4 per cent, was similar between the two groups.
Social Inclusion (2017/2018)
In 2017/2018, 18 per cent of non-Irish nationals were living below the income poverty line (drawn at 60 per cent of median household income) compared to just under 15 per cent of Irish nationals. Consistent poverty rates (the proportion of a group that is both income poor and experiencing basic deprivation) were just over 6 per cent for both Irish and non-Irish nationals, though the consistent poverty rate was higher for non-EU nationals (at 12 per cent).
Rates of home ownership were much lower among non-Irish than Irish nationals. In 2017/2018 almost two thirds (65 per cent) of non-Irish nationals lived in private rented accommodation, compared to 11 per cent of Irish nationals.
Some 153,000 non-Irish nationals acquired Irish citizenship through naturalisation between 2005 and 2019. We estimate that in 2019, naturalised non-EU nationals represented up to 37 per cent of the resident population of non-EU origin. Naturalisation is also rising rapidly among EEA nationals with this group accounting for around half of naturalisations in 2019; Polish and UK nationals were among the top nationalities acquiring Irish citizenship.