Number of foreign nationals living in Ireland up 30% in last five years

The number of foreign nationals living in Ireland jumped 30% between 2006 and 2011, official figures have revealed today.

Total numbers increased by 124,624 over the five years to April 2011.

The Central Statistics Office also revealed that 544,357 non-Irish nationals were living in Ireland at the time of the census in April of last year, from 199 different nations.

The figures show the number of Polish people living here soared by 93.7% in the previous five years, from 63,276 in 2006 to 122,585 in 2011, as they overtook UK nationals (112,259) as the largest non-Irish community in the country.

Foreign nationals made up 15.1% of the workforce (268,180 people) at the time of the census, with Polish and UK nationals accounting for 43.4% these workers (116,375).

Dublin city, Fingal and Cork county had the highest number of foreign nationals living in their areas, while Longford and Leitrim had the lowest.

Galway city was the most multi-cultural area, with 19.4% of residents listed as non-Irish.

The number of non-Irish nationals living in Ireland grew from 224,261 persons in 2002 to 544,357 in 2011, an increase of 143% over the nine-year period, showing that the growth in the number of non-Irish nationals has slowed since 2006.

"This report provides further analysis of the non-Irish population living in Ireland at the time of the last census," said Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician at the CSO.

"It examines aspects such as mixed nationality households, age structure and marital status, numbers in towns, as well as new data on ability to speak English by year of arrival into Ireland.

"Ireland has become an increasingly diverse society over the past decade and the different nationalities that make up the population of Ireland have an increasingly important impact on the economy and society."

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