Britain and United States top destinations for Irish emigrants

Ireland’s emigration figures are almost twice the global average.

Ireland’s emigration figures are almost twice the global average, with most opting to move to Britain or the US.

New figures reveal that Britain is still the primary destination for Irish-born emigrants with 412,658 now residing there.

The US is the second-most popular nation for Irish emigrants, with 143,571 living there, according to a report from the Central Statistics Office.

The migration figures reveal that as of 2013 a total of 232 million people – 3.2 percent of the population – had moved to another nation.

But the UK-based Irish Post notes that Ireland's rate is almost double the average.

The figures show that while 89,000 people leave Ireland every year, just 55,900 arrive to replace them.

However, the figures also confirm that emigration has slowed in recent years. In 2000 an estimated 850,000 Irish lived abroad, including 500,000 in Britain.

Other popular destinations for emigrants include Australia (77,513), Spain (17,519), Germany (12,375) and Poland (8,136).

New Zealand, which is increasingly popular with Irish emigrants, is the most distant destination at over 11,500 miles from Ireland.

And tiny St. Helena, a far-flung British-owned island off the coast of South Africa, is the nation with the fewest number of Irish-born emigrants – with just two Irish people.

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