There are now more than three quarters of a million people, who were born in Ireland, now living abroad(Source: Irish Times & UN International Migration Report). When compared to the last wave of emigration in 1990 the destinations of choice for Irish emigrants has changed dramatically
Australia has surged in popularity, with 77,500 Irish born people living in Australia in 2013.The number of first generation Irish living In Australia has risen by 43% when compared to 1990.
Another interesting finding is that there is an actual decline of 10% in regards the number of Irish born people living in Canada when compared to 1990. The figure is still very substantial, at 26,000 people.
The number of Irish living in Luxembourg has increased by a whopping 257%, which is indicative of Ireland’s huge footprint in the financial services sector, which would not have been the case in 1990. There are currently 1,474 first generation Irish living in Luxembourg, which has an overall population of 543,000.
There are 8,869 Irish born people living in New Zealand, a 40% increase since 1990. Another interesting finding is that South Africa has become a major destination for Irish emigrants, with nearly 12,000 Irish living in South Africa in 2013.There was a mere 2,440 Irish living in South Africa in 1990
The majority of Irish emigrants have the UK as their preferred destination, although it has declined in popularity by over 30%, when compared to 1990. In 1990, there were over 596,000 people born in Ireland living in the UK. However, between 2000 and 2010 this number decreased by 25%, which indicative of Irish people was returning home during the boom years. However, between 2010 and 2013, the reverse occurred, where the Irish born population in the UK increased by 3.5%, to 412,658.
Traditionally, the United States would always have been a favourite destination for Irish emigrants. However the economy of the United States has experienced severe turbulence in the last decade and consequently the number of people born in Ireland living in the US decreased by 36% between 1990 and 2013. There are currently 143,574 people with Irish birth certificates living in the United States. However a phenomenal 34.7 million people, or 11.5% of the population claim Irish ancestry.
The number of Irish born people registered in Poland has risen from a mere 101 in 1990 to 8,136 in 2013. This could be reflective of the large number of Polish nationals with Irish born children returning to Poland during the recession. In addition there is anecdotal evidence of a large number of Irish construction workers moving to Poland when the construction industry declined dramatically between 2008 and 2013.
The migration trends of Irish people has changed dramatically in the last decade. The traditionally popular destinations of the UK and the US have weaned in popularity, with Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, France and Germany experiencing a significant surge in Irish people joining their national talent pool.