Eurostat figures show Ireland has the highest rate of emigration in the European Union (EU). Photo by: Mark Stedman

Emigration numbers continue to soar in Ireland


Eurostat figures show Ireland has the highest rate of emigration in the European Union (EU). Photo by: Mark Stedman

The number of people emigrating from Ireland continues to rise, with an estimated 250 people departing the country on a daily basis in search of work and a better life.

Figures compiled by the Irish Independent provide fresh details of where migrants have been going in the last year, with English-speaking countries proving to be the most popular.

Many of those leaving Ireland behind are young graduates who are failing to find work in their field and must leave family and friends behind to pursue their chosen career paths.

The National Youth Council of Ireland said that it hoped 2014 would see a corner being turned and that the numbers emigrating would begin to drop.

"The last employment figures showed the numbers of people aged 25-34 in employment are down by 9pc – but in our view this is mainly due to emigration," said NYCI officer Marie-Claire McAleer.

"If job growth continues we hope and expect the numbers of young people emigrating in 2014 will reduce."

The US continued to entice emigrants, with more than 20,300 work permits issued to Irish people last year, including almost 1,700 permanent ones. The Irish Independent says official US immigration figures suggest a brain drain of talent from Ireland as 1,171 Irish people with "extraordinary abilities or achievements" immigrated to the United States from Ireland as did 1,259 athletes, artists and entertainers.

The latest figures also reveal that there was a 27pc increase in the number of Irish people moving to Canada, with 6,693 temporary work permits and another 895 permanent visas issued during 2012 – an emigration rate that is six times higher than it was during the boom.

Separately, data from Ireland's Central Statistics Office show some 89,000 left in the 12 months to April 2013, almost 2,000 more than a year earlier.

One in six households has seen a family member emigrate since 2006, according to a major report this year.

The University College Cork and the Irish Research Council also revealed that unemployment is not the only reason to leave the country, as in fact almost half of emigrants were in full-time jobs before they moved.

But there was clear evidence of a brain drain as many of these were health professionals or IT specialists seeking better jobs or conditions elsewhere.

There are signs of hope for Ireland's young graduates as increasing numbers (52pc) are getting work in Ireland within a few months of graduating, although the number of those emigrating to find a job (10pc) is still rising.

Those who complete a higher qualification, such as a masters degree or a PhD, are more likely to walk straight into employment in Ireland.

The figures represented below were compiled by the Herald.

Emigration 89,000 (CSO May 2012-April 2013):

* New Zealand 4,959 – 2012/13

* Australia 39,559 – 2012/13 (5,209 permanent, 15,850 working holiday and 18,500 temporary skilled working visas)

* Canada 7,558 – 2012 (895 permanent, 6,693 temporary)

* US 20,306 – 2012 (18,612 temporary, 1,694 permanent)

* UK – 15,400


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