Emigration has always been a factor in Ireland but it’s now at some of the highest levels for a century. So high that there are now a third fewer young people than just 7 years ago!
Figures from both the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) and the Central Statistics Office (CSO)show that in 2014 89,000 people of all nationalities left Ireland. 35,300 of these were Irish nationals.
According to the OECD one in six Irish people aged 15 and over are currently living and working abroad. This is the highest proportion of emigrants of any country within its membership, which consists of 34 countries including Ireland, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, and much of Europe and the Americas.
With a huge 17.5% of its population aged 15 or over living abroad, Ireland had by far the highest proportion of emigration in 2014.
Ireland was followed by Portugal and New Zealand (14%) and then Mexico, Iceland and Luxemburg with around 12% living abroad.
Meanwhile CSO figures reveal that emigration has seen a 37% drop in the number of people aged 20-24 in the last seven years. There are also 27.5% fewer 25-29 year olds.
The OECD expects emigration from Ireland to continue in 2016, with around 12,000 more people leaving the country than arriving.