Two recent reports from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Central Statistics Office show that more than one in six Irish-born no longer live in Ireland. In the latest biennial assessment of the Irish economy published by the OECD, it is reported that in 2014, 17.5% of all people over age 15 that were born in Ireland were living abroad, while the CSO reports a 34% drop in 20 to 24-year-olds over the last seven years, along with a 27.5% drop in 25 to 29-year-olds.
In a recent press release, Sinn Féin Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation spokesperson Peadar Tóibín commented on the figures: “A third of a million Irish people in the last six years voted with their feet, leaving an economy that put unsecured debt and upper income security above provision for citizens.
“We have a huge housing crisis, a health crisis, reduced educational investment, high levels of personal debt, low wages, precarious employment, rising rental costs, regressive taxation including water charges and property tax, crippling childcare cost, and exorbitant mortgage repayments. But one of the most tragic and long lasting outcomes of Fine Gael and Labour policy will be the loss of hundreds of thousands of our people.”
Ireland’s percentage of native-born living abroad was the highest amongst the OECD’s other members, surpassing New Zealand, Portugal, and Mexico by several percentage points. Though the CSO says emigration has begun to slow, net migration is still negative, meaning still more people are leaving Ireland than are moving there. ♦