Returning Irish drive net inward migration for Ireland of 28,900 in year to April 2020

25 Aug 2020

The 2020 Population and Migration Estimates released by the Central Statistics Office show that the number of immigrants decreased by 3.6 per cent year-on-year, from 88,600 in 2019 to 85,400 in 2020. The number of emigrants increased (by 2.9 per cent) from 54,900 to 56,500 in the year April to 2020.

These combined changes have resulted in a positive net inward migration of +28,900 for Ireland in the year up to April 2020, compared to +33,700 in 2019. The combined effect of positive net migration and natural increase resulted in an overall increase in the population of 55,900, bringing the population estimate to 4.98 million in April 2020.

Of the 85,400 people who migrated to Ireland in the year to April 2020, some 28,900 (33.8 per cent) were estimated to be Irish nationals, the highest number of returning Irish nationals since 2007. Of the 56,500 emigrants from Ireland, 28,300 (50.1 per cent) were estimated to be Irish nationals. Consequently, Irish nationals experienced net inward migration, rising to +500 in 2020 from -2,100 in 2019.

Key figures from April 2020 estimates:

  • An estimated 644,400 non-Irish nationals were resident in Ireland in April 2020, accounting for 12.9 per cent of the overall population (decreased from 662,700 in 2019).
  • 15,300 migrants arrived to live in in Ireland from the UK while 10,000 emigrants left Ireland to live in the UK.
  • Non-Irish nationals from outside the EU continued to display strong migration flows, accounting for 30,400 (35.6 per cent) of total immigrants and 11,400 (20.4 per cent) of total emigrants.
  • 56,900 (73.8 per cent) of immigrants aged 15 or over had a third-level qualification.
  • Irish nationals remained the largest constituent group among emigrants, accounting for 28,300 (50.1 per cent) of the 56,500 people who emigrated. This represents a decrease of 700 (-2.4%) on the year to April 2019 when 29,000 Irish nationals emigrated.
  • The number of births in the period was 58,300 while the number of deaths was 31,200, resulting in a natural increase of the population of 27,100.

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 (April 2020)

See also: Useful Statistics