Back to Top

Central Statistics Office

Search currently unavailable

 Skip navigation

Extra information
Methodology Previous Releases
International comparison:
See also:
YouTube Video
For more information on this release:
E-mail: labour@cso.ie Martina O'Calllaghan +353 21 453 5491 Catalina Gonzalez +353 21 453 5163
For general information on CSO statistics:
information@cso.ie (+353) 21 453 5000 Visit StatCentral.ie, the portal to Ireland's official statistics On-line ISSN 2009-6011
CSO statistical release, 18 December 2017, 11am

Foreign Nationals: PPSN Allocations, Employment and Social Welfare Activity

2016

Year PPSN allocatedAllocations to foreign nationals aged 15 & overNumber with no employment activity 2011-2016Employment activity by year
201120122013201420152016
201157,94626,36421,73022,41717,90615,68614,46113,759
201264,05428,6213324,80626,03920,84118,37217,007
201375,78034,593 7528,89631,56525,51322,692
201485,69638,097  6235,17237,92130,710
201582,77932,807   5241,85541,620
201694,97843,037    20051,914

23.7% of foreign nationals assigned PPSNs in 2011 had employment activity in Ireland in 2016

Figure 1 Foreign Nationals: Employment Activity of PPSN Allocations in 2011
go to full release

Of the 57,946 foreign nationals aged 15 years and over who were assigned PPSNs (Personal Public Service Numbers) in 2011, 13,759 (23.7%) had employment activity at any time during 2016. See table 2.

This data is based upon an annual analysis of records of the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, and the CSO, based on foreign nationals who were allocated PPSNs during the period 2002-2016.

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, the term “activity” in this release means any PAYE employment or any engagement with the social welfare system.

 The analysis also shows that:

  • Of the 94,978 foreign nationals aged 15 years and over who were allocated new PPSNs in 2016, 51,914 had employment activity during the year.  See table 2.
  • Employment activity was recorded in 2016 for 410,939 foreign nationals aged 15 years and over who received PPSNs in the period 2002–2016.  See table 4.
  • A total of 67,015 PPSN’s were allocated to foreign nationals in 2011, while in 2016 this number had risen to 107,767. Allocations to foreign national males in 2016 were 58,614 (54.4%), while female allocations were 49,153 (45.6%). Comparable figures for 2011 showed 34,376 (51.3%) male allocations and 32,639 (48.7%) female allocations.  See table 6.

Activity rate in the year of allocation is 63.5% in 2016

Employment and social welfare activity rates for foreign nationals in 2016 ranged from a low of 40.6% for 2011 allocations, where 23,539 of the 57,946 allocations had employment or interacted with the social welfare system in the year, to a high of 64.9%, where 53,763 of the 82,779 allocations were active, for 2015 allocations. In 2016, 63.5% or 60,443 of 94,978 allocations were recorded as active.

For 2016, foreign nationals from the EU15 to EU25 states had the highest activity rate in 2016, with 79.8% (10,760) of allocations recording employment or engagement with the social welfare system in the year. This was followed by nationals from the EU25 to EU28 with 74.9% (11,786) of allocations having activity in the year. The Rest of the World had 16,772 allocations in 2016, with a 61.2% activity rate in the year.  See table 1.

Employment activity rate in year of allocation shows a 4.1 percentage point increase in 2016

Employment activity for PPSN allocations to foreign nationals in the year of arrival increased from 41,855 in 2015 to 51,914 in 2016. The employment activity rate in year of allocation has increased by 4.1 percentage points from 50.6% in 2015 to 54.7% in 2016.

The nationality group with the highest employment activity rate in the year of allocation is the EU15 to EU25 states in 2016 at 69.4%. The Rest of the World had the largest annual increase in the 2016 employment activity rate, increasing by 9.9 percentage points from 40.3% for 2015 allocations to 50.2% for 2016 allocations. See table 2.

Social Welfare activity rate in year of allocation decreased to 8.9% in 2016

In 2016 the social welfare activity rate in the year of allocation was 8.9%, representing a decrease of 1.9 percentage points from the 2015 rate of 10.8%. The social welfare activity rate in the year of allocation in 2011 was also 8.9%. In 2016, 9,780 (16.9%) of the 57,946 PPSN allocations from 2011 recorded social welfare activity. The comparable figure for 2011 allocations in 2015 was marginally less at 16.3% (9,474). 

Across the nationality groups the largest percentage of 2011 allocations to have social welfare activity in 2016 was the EU25 to EU28 states with 1,008 (27.2%), of the 3,704 allocations to those countries in 2011 recording social welfare activity in 2016. This is followed by the EU15 to EU25 states which have a social welfare activity rate of 26.0% in 2016 for 2011 allocations. See table 3.

It should be noted that there are several possible reasons for increases in social welfare activity by allocation year over time; the birth of a child leading to a child benefit claim, jobseekers claims, and the fact that some benefits depend on habitual residence requirements or on having sufficient social insurance benefits.

 

0
Year PPSN allocatedPPSN Allocations
201167015
201272788
201385134
201496140
201594701
2016107767

PPSN allocations to foreign nationals increased by 13.8% in 2016

Overall, PPSN allocations to foreign nationals across all age groups were 107,767 in 2016. This is an increase of 13,066 (+13.8%) when compared with allocations in 2015. See table 5 and graph above.

 Other main points which can be noted include:

  • A total of 410,939 foreign nationals who were assigned PPSNs during the period 2002-2016 recorded some employment during 2016. The largest numbers were employed in the Accommodation and food service activities sector (71,864). Five NACE economic sectors (Accommodation and food service activities, Wholesale and retail trade; Repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, Administrative and support service activities, Manufacturing and the Information and communication sectors) accounted for 64.0% (263,076) of all foreign national employment activity in 2016.  See table 4.
  • Male and female allocations to foreign nationals were 58,614 and 49,153 respectively in 2016, which compares with 34,376 males and 32,639 females in 2011. The proportion of new allocations to females was 45.6% in 2016, down from 48.7% in 2011. See table 6.
  • The United Kingdom had the highest number of PPSN allocations (15,917) in 2016, and has continued to account for the highest number of allocations by country since 2009.  Romania recorded the second highest number of allocations (11,206) in 2016. United Kingdom, Romania and Poland have had the three highest number of PPSN allocation by country in all years since 2013. See table 7.
Table 1 Foreign Nationals aged 15 years and over: Employment and Social Welfare activity by broad nationality group and year of activity
Numbers
 Year PPSN allocatedAllocations to foreign nationals aged 15 years and overNumber with no activity 2011–2016Activity1 by year
Broad nationality group 201120122013201420152016
United Kingdom201110,9355,9464,0774,0663,5323,1843,0042,900
 201210,7545,887953,9644,0393,3443,0902,961
 201311,1936,324651203,9024,0703,4253,301
 201411,9736,84444471114,0874,3013,834
 201513,9548,350303237714,8355,360
 201613,7749,082656668701175,036
 
EU15 excl. Ireland and the UK201112,0023,4117,2046,8685,5054,7654,2733,872
 201214,4074,265248,4638,4466,7565,8255,187
 201316,9025,4964389,5209,4777,4756,509
 201418,8845,868783010,95811,1018,900
 201517,7184,3104443412,06411,795
 201621,3527,0008912135814,831
 
EU15 to EU25 states201114,2003,8998,2049,1538,6318,4348,2918,213
 201214,5693,907588,8329,7208,9578,6418,563
 201314,9443,8676629,52110,2759,2879,171
 201414,0843,19567629,95110,2669,148
 201513,2742,23634126210,82810,714
 201613,4763,464*47310,760
 
EU25 to EU28 states20113,7041,2961,1321,8022,0902,2962,4522,525
 20125,2041,60231,9903,2363,2663,3943,494
 20138,1322,383*34,0575,4675,3215,386
 201410,8362,791**126,3067,9117,581
 201512,4492,107***79,38910,645
 201615,7344,737*3611,786
 
USA20112,1761,292606691590500488459
 20122,2031,2699633716585511477
 20132,5031,47546698849680605
 20142,7591,572**11846973786
 20152,7651,621***129301,034
 20163,2492,1173344211,149
 
Rest of the world201114,9295,8295,6716,9845,8145,4865,4275,570
 201216,9176,830426,2557,7586,7986,4756,413
 201322,1069,3976557,64510,3629,1888,763
 201427,16011,487467910,36213,48811,958
 201522,6196,757913136912,75914,215
 201627,39310,89089121315116,772
 
Total foreign nationals201157,94621,67326,89429,56426,16224,66523,93523,539
 201264,05423,76023130,13733,91529,70627,93627,095
 201375,78028,9428628435,34340,50035,37633,735
 201485,69631,757647130542,51048,04042,207
 201582,77925,38148556825550,80553,763
 201694,97837,29085879710445660,334
1 Activity means any PAYE employment or any engagement with the social welfare system.
* Confidential
– No Data
Table 2 Foreign Nationals aged 15 years and over: Employment activity by broad nationality group and year of activity
Numbers
 Year PPSN allocatedAllocations to foreign nationals aged 15 years and overNumber with no employment activity 2011–2016Employment activity by year
Broad nationality group 201120122013201420152016
United Kingdom201110,9357,3332,6102,5952,0911,7651,5761,455
 201210,7547,097102,7112,6932,0641,7821,598
 201311,1937,549232,7092,7712,1161,809
 201411,9738,149132,8812,9092,213
 201513,9549,514103,5643,641
 201613,7749,997153,775
 
EU15 excl. Ireland and the UK201112,0023,9526,5285,9874,5113,7293,1652,798
 201214,4074,88177,5977,3085,5614,5993,947
 201316,9026,342228,3118,2446,2555,214
 201418,8846,676109,7149,8247,545
 201517,7184,9831611,03510,518
 201621,3527,621*3913,725
 
EU15 to EU25 states201114,2004,7626,7856,6335,5084,9894,7144,524
 201214,5694,75767,3817,1255,8225,2695,037
 201314,9444,814177,8347,5176,1295,629
 201414,0844,099158,2767,5896,176
 201513,2743,053109,0818,056
 201613,4764,129319,347
 
EU25 to EU28 states20113,7041,5499731,3931,4591,4771,5011,517
 20125,2041,953*1,7232,5012,3032,2482,206
 20138,1322,871*3,4464,1963,8173,624
 201410,8363,38885,4546,2445,509
 201512,4492,65158,2998,489
 201615,7345,3903210,342
 
USA20112,1761,442498529401310280241
 20122,2031,4284536554405310271
 20132,5031,658582664481365
 20142,7591,7683732789549
 20152,7651,8125765788
 20163,2492,2679975
 
Rest of the world201114,9297,3264,3365,2803,9363,4163,2253,224
 201216,9178,50544,8585,8584,6864,1643,948
 201322,10611,359116,0148,1736,7156,051
 201427,16014,017138,11510,5668,718
 201522,61910,79469,11110,128
 201627,39313,6337413,750
 
Total foreign nationals201157,94626,36421,73022,41717,90615,68614,46113,759
 201264,05428,6213324,80626,03920,84118,37217,007
 201375,78034,5937528,89631,56525,51322,692
 201485,69638,0976235,17237,92130,710
 201582,77932,8075241,85541,620
 201694,97843,037*20051,914
* Confidential
– No Data
Table 3 Foreign Nationals aged 15 years and over: Social Welfare activity by broad nationality group and year of activity
Numbers
 Year PPSN allocatedAllocations to foreign nationals aged 15 years and overNumber with no S/W activity 2011–2016Social Welfare activity by year
Broad nationality group 201120122013201420152016
United Kingdom201110,9358,3901,4671,4711,4411,4191,4281,445
 201210,7548,442851,2531,3461,2801,3081,363
 201311,1938,95665971,1931,2991,3091,492
 201411,9739,7374447981,2061,3921,621
 201513,95411,981303237611,2711,719
 201613,77412,514656668701021,261
 
EU15 excl. Ireland and the UK201112,0029,7016768819941,0361,1081,074
 201214,40711,829178661,1381,1951,2261,240
 201316,90214,2524161,2091,2331,2201,295
 201418,88416,50178201,2441,2771,355
 201517,71816,043444181,0291,277
 201621,35220,246891212191,106
 
EU15 to EU25 states201114,2008,9991,4192,5203,1233,4453,5773,689
 201214,5699,623521,4512,5953,1353,3723,526
 201314,94410,3116451,6872,7583,1583,542
 201414,08410,35067471,6752,6772,972
 201513,27410,3583412521,7472,658
 201613,47612,063*4421,413
 
EU25 to EU28 states20113,7042,4381594096318199511,008
 20125,2043,508*2677359631,1461,288
 20138,1325,864**6111,2711,5041,762
 201410,8368,326**48521,6672,072
 201512,44910,152****1,0902,156
 201615,73414,290*41,444
 
USA20112,1761,890108162189190208218
 20122,2031,923597162180201206
 20132,5032,20646116185199240
 20142,7592,488**8114184237
 20152,7652,503***7165246
 20163,2493,075334412174
 
Rest of the world201114,92911,8001,3351,7041,8782,0702,2022,346
 201216,91713,742381,3971,9002,1122,3112,465
 201322,10618,7276441,6312,1892,4732,712
 201427,16023,19846662,2472,9223,240
 201522,61917,70091313633,6484,087
 201627,39324,371891213773,022
 
Total foreign nationals201157,94643,2185,1647,1478,2568,9799,4749,780
 201264,05449,0671985,3317,8768,8659,56410,088
 201375,78060,316862096,4478,9359,86311,043
 201485,69670,60064712437,33810,11911,497
 201582,77968,7374855682038,95012,143
 201694,97886,5598587971032568,420
* Confidential
– No Data
Table 4 Foreign Nationals aged 15 years and over: Employment activity by economic sector and broad nationality group, 20161
Numbers
  Broad nationality group 
Economic Sector (NACE Rev.2)United KingdomEU15 excl Ireland & the UKEU15 to EU25 statesEU25 to EU28 statesUSARest of the worldTotal foreign nationals
AAgriculture, forestry and fishing2972754,7331,495174617,278
BMining and quarrying48102158*44326
CManufacturing2,8485,24229,0003,7663274,37745,560
DElectricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply1518258236103423
EWater supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities129641,49334061182,150
FConstruction1,2475846,7973,661421,08513,416
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles5,8374,62033,3564,95262410,75760,146
HTransportation and storage1,3673,9667,7641,1575692515,235
IAccommodation and food service activities 3,5657,89629,91310,03051619,94471,864
JInformation and communication2,78811,3464,2031,3037017,76728,108
KFinancial and insurance activities excluding activities of holding companies2,6504,3993,3325124362,45813,787
LReal estate activities3212561,653501359393,705
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities2,9574,8564,7681,2285064,56118,876
NAdministrative and support service activities3,19010,76223,0998,54748811,31257,398
OPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security1,8345581,1023211393,4727,426
PEducation2,1392,8721,8133335972,99010,744
QHuman health and social work actvities3,5472,3948,1161,80431911,44227,622
RArts, entertainment and recreation8003911,2874081049193,909
SOther service activities6563583,7931,505671,4107,789
TActivities of households as employers1733611682209
UActivities of extra territorial organisations and bodies3712*1943
Unknown 1,8191,8285,8931,7202863,37914,925
Total38,21062,799172,46143,6325,27388,564410,939
1 This table relates to those foreign nationals assigned PPSNs during the period 2002 to 2016 inclusive and employed during 2016.
* Confidential
– No Data
Table 5 Foreign Nationals: PPSN allocations by age group and broad nationality group
Numbers
Year PPSN allocatedAge at allocationUKEU15 excl Ireland & the UKEU15 to EU25 statesEU25 to EU28 statesUSARest of worldTotal foreign nationals1
20110-142,1429313,1794595151,8439,069
 15-241,8004,6836,3331,3313755,94220,464
 25-443,8536,2446,3202,0578088,00827,290
 45-643,8638651,4192936577937,890
 65+1,419210128233361862,302
 Total13,07712,93317,3794,1632,69116,77267,015
 
20120-141,9681,0152,8056354821,8298,734
 15-241,7855,5666,2041,7063946,60722,262
 25-443,9667,7186,7103,0168259,20531,440
 45-643,6469111,4924506598588,016
 65+1,357212163323252472,336
 Total12,72215,42217,3745,8392,68518,74672,788
 
20130-141,9801,3782,4199485372,0929,354
 15-241,5986,1436,1992,4524218,41225,225
 25-443,9549,3397,0464,95091012,23838,437
 45-644,1381,1531,5476847921,0989,412
 65+1,503267152463803582,706
 Total13,17318,28017,3639,0803,04024,19885,134
 
20140-141,8421,5272,6091,3476372,48210,444
 15-241,7587,2385,7143,1935249,47527,902
 25-444,31010,1816,7946,57099115,73544,581
 45-644,3451,2061,4101,0058271,37810,171
 65+1,560259166684175723,042
 Total13,81520,41116,69312,1833,39629,64296,140
 
20150-142,1781,5202,4731,6285653,55811,922
 15-241,8406,5495,2453,4044856,53924,062
 25-445,6469,6556,5657,94896814,27845,060
 45-644,8451,2311,3251,0209041,27210,597
 65+1,623283139774085303,060
 Total16,13219,23815,74714,0773,33026,17794,701
 
20160-142,1431,7842,2052,0866203,95112,789
 15-241,8158,2175,0764,4696456,83327,055
 25-445,39911,4256,7439,6451,24318,49852,953
 45-644,8821,4381,4731,5479381,48711,765
 65+1,678272184734235753,205
 Total15,91723,13615,68117,8203,86931,344107,767
1 This table includes PPSN allocations to foreign nationals of all ages.
Table 6 Foreign Nationals: PPSN allocations by sex and broad nationality group
Numbers
Year PPSN allocatedSexUKEU15 excl Ireland & the UKEU15 to EU25 statesEU25 to EU28 statesUSARest of worldTotal foreign nationals1
2011Male 7,1506,9648,2562,2311,2048,57134,376
 Female5,9275,9699,1231,9321,4878,20132,639
 Total13,07712,93317,3794,1632,69116,77267,015
 
2012Male 7,0228,2798,2173,1991,2619,34237,320
 Female5,7007,1439,1572,6401,4249,40435,468
 Total12,72215,42217,3745,8392,68518,74672,788
 
2013Male 7,3489,6778,3795,1391,40512,51544,463
 Female5,8258,6038,9843,9411,63511,68340,671
 Total13,17318,28017,3639,0803,04024,19885,134
 
2014Male 7,72710,6178,5517,0981,54015,40450,937
 Female6,0889,7948,1425,0851,85614,23845,203
 Total13,81520,41116,69312,1833,39629,64296,140
 
2015Male 9,29810,1548,0738,5261,52714,17751,755
Female6,8349,0847,6745,5511,80312,00042,946
Total16,13219,23815,74714,0773,33026,17794,701
 
2016Male 9,07912,1908,56710,9431,76916,06658,614
 Female6,83810,9467,1146,8772,10015,27849,153
 Total15,91723,13615,68117,8203,86931,344107,767
1 This table includes PPSN allocations to foreign nationals of all ages.
Table 7 - Foreign Nationals: PPSN allocations by nationality1
Numbers
Nationality201120122013201420152016
United Kingdom13,07712,72213,17313,81516,13215,917
Romania3,8255,2847,7149,0778,63611,206
Poland8,0808,6599,2359,1198,5858,017
Brazil4,8435,4486,2117,7125,0227,270
Italy2,1692,7543,6014,3104,1575,535
Spain2,6073,9365,0115,1954,3555,439
Croatia60864882,2244,3425,312
India1,4481,8492,6133,0563,1294,959
France2,6732,9143,1743,7403,7434,381
USA2,6912,6853,0403,3963,3303,869
Lithuania3,5522,8612,5182,3162,3372,837
Germany2,1642,1442,1612,4092,4582,484
Pakistan7907278881,6143,1662,215
Portugal7191,1441,5891,9581,6262,143
China9411,1391,1131,4301,1431,472
Hungary1,5751,9931,8821,7251,6161,433
Latvia2,1891,7601,5691,3101,1721,316
Bulgaria2784698788821,0991,302
Australia5545896388821,0381,157
Canada6076107428418861,037
Slovakia1,0171,1391,0961,083958996
Netherlands710659823886826959
Philippines402400425414427919
South Africa338339348446482804
Nigeria461452542646614766
All Other Countries9,24510,02613,66215,65413,42214,022
Total67,01572,78885,13496,14094,701107,767
1 This table includes PPSN allocations to foreign nationals of all ages and is sorted in descending order of allocations in 2016.

Background Notes

Data sources

This analysis is based on three data sources:

  • The Central Records System of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
  • The P35 files (employer end-of-year returns) of the Revenue Commissioners.
  • The Central Business Register of the Central Statistics Office.

The variables used were the date the PPSN was assigned, the nationality at that time, the age at that time, sex, and the NACE category of economic activity.

For some persons, employment is recorded before the year the PPSN was issued. These numbers, which are relatively small, have been blanked in the headline table for clarity but are included in the detailed tables.

Some pensioners are included in the P35 data, but their numbers are small.  Also, self-employed persons are excluded from the data from 2005 if they had no P35 self-employed income and if they had no other work as an employee.

Data analysis from 2002 (Social Welfare activity) and 2005 (Employment activity) are updated annually and available through the CSO Statbank at:

http://www.cso.ie/shorturl.aspx/213

Nationality groups

The category EU15 excl Ireland & the UK consists of Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Finland and Sweden

The category EU15 to EU25 states consists of the states that joined the EU on 1 May 2004: the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia.

The category EU25 to EU28 states consist of Romania and Bulgaria, who joined the EU on 1 January 2007 and Croatia on 1 July 2013.

Definitions

Employment Activity: Employment activity for the purposes of this release includes any person appearing on the Revenue P35 files, or in the employment file within the Central Records System of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The level of activity can vary from having worked one day in the year to working full-time throughout the year. 

Social Welfare Activity: Social welfare activity for the purposes of this release includes any person appearing in the claims files within the Central Records System of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. This includes one off claims, such as dental and optical benefits, and ongoing claims, such as Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance, pensions and illness payments.

NACE Rev 2: Employment is classified using NACE Rev 2. Where persons had two or more employments during a year, they were allocated to the NACE category with the largest number of weeks of employment.

Background to the study

The results presented in this release are based on a data-matching exercise undertaken by the CSO, for statistical purposes, of administrative data from of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and the Revenue Commissioners. This study was undertaken in line with the Statistics Act, 1993, and the CSO Data Protocol governing data matching exercises undertaken by the CSO (available at http://www.cso.ie/en/aboutus/csodataprotocol/ ).

 

 

upArrowHide Background Notes