Ireland’s Melting Pot: Analyzing the 2022 Census and the Rise of Immigration in the Emerald Isle

Lately, the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the Ireland Census of Population 2022. This report produces detailed insight into the socio-demographic characteristics of the population of Ireland.

The report on Ireland’s Census of Population 2022 highlights that demonstrate Ireland is a popular immigration destination. There are some key factors indicate that Ireland has become a popular immigration destination, attracting people of diverse nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, and languages:

1. Increase in non-Irish citizens:

In 2022, non-Irish citizens accounted for 12% of the population, showing an increase in the number of immigrants living in Ireland.

The biggest non-Irish groups were Polish and UK citizens, followed by Indian, Romanian, and Lithuanian citizens. Other significant non-Irish groups include Brazilian, Italian, Latvian, and Spanish citizens.

2. Growth in dual Irish citizenship:

There was a 63% increase in dual Irish citizenship from 2016, with the largest groups being Irish-UK, Irish American, Irish-Polish, and Irish-Australian citizens.

3. Increase in foreign-born residents:

20% of the population usually lived in Ireland but were born elsewhere, representing 1,017,437 people. This is an increase of 207,031 from 2016, with the largest increases from India, Brazil, and Romania.

4. Recent immigration:

In the year preceding the census, 89,512 people moved to Ireland, with 22,137 being Irish citizens and 66,020 being non-Irish citizens. The largest group of non-Irish citizens moving to Ireland came from India, followed by Brazil. The number of people identifying as Chinese increased to 26,828 and it quickly increased.

Between 2012 and 2022, 401,433 people arrived to live in Ireland, with 62% arriving between 2017 and 2022. Arrivals from the UK and other European countries also increased during this period.

The 2022 census showed a diverse ethnic background, with 77% identifying as White Irish, and new groups such as Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi, Arab, and Roma being added.

5. Language diversity:

In 2022, 751,507 people spoke a language other than English or Irish at home, an increase of 23% from 2016. Polish remained the most commonly spoken foreign language.

Of the people who spoke a foreign language at home, 57% indicated that they spoke English very well, and 26% spoke English well. High percentages of English proficiency were recorded among citizens from various countries, including India, Poland, Malta, Denmark, and South Africa.

6. Investor Immigrant Programme (IIP) 

Helen McEntee, Ireland’s Minister for Justice, announced that they received 1,492 applications for the IIP in 2023, an increase from 1,316 applications in 2022.

Highlighted in the Ireland Census of Population 2022, the popularity of the Investor Immigrant Programme (IIP) further demonstrates Ireland’s attractiveness as an immigration destination. Although the program has been closed, applications previously submitted are still being processed. The rise in applications illustrates the growing interest of immigrants in settling and investing in Ireland.

Chinese nationals accounted for the majority of successful applicants, representing 1,677 out of 1,788 approved applications since the program’s inception in 2012. With an approval rate of over 94%, the IIP has been instrumental in attracting foreign investment to Ireland. The closure of the program may lead the government to consider alternative methods to maintain Ireland’s appeal to international investors.

Combining the findings from both the census and the IIP new data, it is evident that Ireland has become a new destination for immigrants all over the world. Moreover, the country continues to benefit from foreign investment through programs like the IIP, which further boosts its appeal to immigrants worldwide.

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