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Press Statement


21 September 2017

Census 2016 Profile 7 Migration and Diversity

Census 2016 Results Logo

535,475 non Irish nationals from 200 different nations living in Ireland in April 2016

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (21st September 2017) publishes Census 2016 Profile 7 Migration and Diversity.  The report shows that, in April 2016, there were 535,475 non-Irish nationals living in the country, a 1.6% decrease on the 2011 figure of 544,357.  The numbers of people holding dual citizenship (Irish-other country) increased by 87.4% to 104,784 persons. 

Commenting, Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician, said: “This report gives a detailed insight into the many different nationalities living in Ireland, including their age profile, marital status, the languages they speak, and their educational and employment status.  Non-Irish nationals and those with dual nationality are now well established in Irish society and communities throughout the country, and this report provides a wealth of information on their social and economic circumstances in April 2016.” 

Today’s full report is available on the CSO website at Census 2016 - Profile 7 Migration and Diversity

Highlights from Profile 7– Migration and Diversity

Country of Origin
The 535,475 non-Irish nationals living in Ireland in April 2016 came from 200 different nations.  Polish nationals were the largest group with 122,515 persons followed by 103,113 UK nationals and 36,552 Lithuanians.  Just twelve nations each with over 10,000 residents – America, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spain and the UK – accounted for 73.6% of the total non-Irish national population.

Dual Irish Nationals
The number of people holding dual Irish nationality increased by 87.4% to 104,784 persons.  Of these Irish-Americans (17,552) comprised the largest group, followed by Irish-UK (15,428) and Irish-Polish (9,273).  63.4% (66,440 persons) who identified as dual Irish nationality were born abroad. 

Where do non-Irish nationals reside?
Dublin City (91,876), Fingal (46,909) and Cork County (42,002) had the largest numbers of non-Irish national residents while Leitrim (3,526) and Sligo (5,892) had the lowest.  Among the cities, Galway was the most multicultural, with 18.6% of its resident population recorded as non-Irish.  Just over 17% of Dublin City residents and one in six of Fingal residents were non-Irish nationals.  

Only eight counties showed an increase in their non-Irish national population since Census 2011.  Cork City saw the largest increase (17.2% or 2,505 persons) followed by Longford at 9.1% or 502 persons.

Looking at nationality by towns, Ballyhaunis in Mayo had the highest proportion of non-Irish nationals with 941 persons representing 39.5% of its population.  The next highest were Edgeworthstown in Longford with 32.3% (667 persons) and Ballymahon in Longford with 32.1% (599 persons).

Non-nationals younger on average than Irish nationals
The non-Irish national population was comprised of 267,088 males and 268,387 females.  While the average age for Irish nationals increased by 1 year to 37.7 years between 2011 and 2016, the average age of non-Irish nationals increased by more than twice that (2.2 years) over the five years rising from 32.6 to 34.8 years.  Nearly half of all non-Irish nationals were aged between 25 and 42 years compared with less than a quarter of Irish nationals.  Persons aged 65 years or over accounted for less than 5% of the non-Irish population in sharp contrast to nearly 15% for Irish nationals.  In the younger age groups just 12.3% of non-Irish nationals were aged 0 to 14 years compared with 22.5% of Irish nationals.

Marital Status
Within the non-Irish national population aged 15 and over, 47.9% were married.  At 8.1%, the rate of separation/divorce was higher than that of Irish nationals (5.6%).  When looked at by nationality, over half of French, Italian, Spanish and Brazilians were single.  Indian nationals were the most likely to be married (69.3%), Latvians had the highest separated/divorced rate (15%), while 5.1% of UK nationals were widowed. 

Living Arrangements 
In April 2106, 203,838 (12%) of all households were headed by a non-Irish national. Couples with children comprised the main household type amongst non-Irish nationals at 34.9%, a similar figure to the Irish population (35.3%).  Single person households made up 17.3% of all non-Irish national headed households, compared with just under one in four for Irish households.  Among Polish households the proportion of family households without children fell (from 10,751 to 7,630) while families with children increased from 20,830 to 27,425. In households headed by Italian, French and Spanish nationals, there was a fall in the proportion of one person households between 2011 and 2016 and a corresponding increase in both family and non-family (flat-share) households.

Languages spoken 
Census 2016 revealed that 612,018 residents spoke a language other than Irish or English at home, an increase of 19.1% since 2011.  Of these, 363,715 were non-Irish nationals and the top languages spoken were Polish (113,225), Lithuanian (30,502) Romanian (26,645) and Portuguese (16,737).

Place of Birth
There were 39,590 people born in Ireland who identified as a nationality other than Irish.  Polish nationals were the largest single group with 11,393 persons, followed by Lithuanians (3,479), UK nationals (3,104) and Romanians (2,886).  The vast majority were young children, with 53.6% aged under nine years.  A further 14.2% were aged between 25 and 34 years. 

There were 96,497 non-Irish national students aged five and over in April 2016, accounting for 18% of the non-national population.  Among these, Polish (22,450), UK nationals(11,704) and Lithuanians (7,133) comprised the largest groups.

Economic Status
In April 2016, 293,830 of the non-Irish national population were at work, accounting for 14.9% of the workforce.  Together, Polish and UK nationals comprised 42.1% of the entire non-Irish national working population. 

Almost half of all non-Irish national workers were employed in four main sectors, namely Wholesale and Retail Trade (45,812), Accommodation and Food Services (40,859), Manufacturing Industries (36,387) and Human Health and Social Work (21,779).  In terms of socio-economic groupings, nearly half (46.9%) were classified as non-manual, manual skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled workers, compared with 39.2% of Irish nationals.

The unemployment rate among non-Irish nationals was 15.4%, compared with a rate of 12.6% among the Irish population.

Recent Immigrants
In the year prior to April 2016, 82,346 persons arrived to live in Ireland of whom 53,708 were non-Irish nationals and 28,143 were Irish nationals (495 did not state their nationality). Among the non-Irish nationals, UK nationals were the largest group (5,840) followed by Polish nationals (4,029). Almost two thirds of all non-Irish immigrants in 2016 were between the ages of 20 and 34, while 67.7% were single and 27.9% were married.

Editor's Note:
  • The CSO has now published seven of the 11 thematic reports from Census 2016.  Two Summary Reports have also been published.  All of the reports published to date, together with details of the remaining thematic reports, are available at  The reports include a range of interactive web tables, which allow users to build their own tables by selecting the data they are interested in and downloading them in an easy to use format for their own analysis.  
  • In co-operation with the All Ireland Research Observatory (AIRO) at NUI Maynooth, summary census data is available in thematic maps for Electoral Districts and all Small Areas on the AIRO website.  This can be accessed via the link on the CSO website. 
  • The census figures relate to the de facto population, i.e. the population recorded for each area represents the total of all persons present within its boundaries on the night of Sunday, 24 April 2016, together with all persons who arrived in that area on the morning of Monday, 25 April 2016, not having been enumerated elsewhere.  Persons on board ships in port are included with the population of adjacent areas.  The figures, therefore, include visitors present on Census Night as well as those in residence, while usual residents temporarily absent from the area are excluded.
  • The de facto measure of the population in April 2016 was 4,761,865 while the usually resident total was 4,689,921 - a difference of 71,944 or 1.5%.  The usually resident measure is used when analysing topics such as commuting patterns, nationality and households and families.
  • A private household comprises either one person living alone or a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address with common housekeeping arrangements – that is, sharing at least one meal a day or sharing a living room or a sitting room.  In order to be included in the household, a person had to be a usual resident at the time of the census.  Therefore, visitors to the household on Census Night were excluded, while usual residents temporarily absent (less than 12 months) were included. 
For further information contact:

Brendan Murphy (+353) 1 895 1305 or Census Enquiries (+353) 1 895 1460

or email

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