CSO Population and Migration Estimates

Also from the CSO today, estimates of population and migration for the year ending in April 2010. The headline figure that will attract the most attention is net outward migration of 34.5 thousand, the largest figure since 1989.

24 replies on “CSO Population and Migration Estimates”

I find the increase in Irish national emigration interesting. Net Irish national emigration of 14,400 (it was zero in 2009) and net emigration of non-Irish nationals 20,100 (was 7,800 last year).

Eastern European emigration has fallen. I suppose those migrants in temporary jobs were the first to leave.

More men than women are leaving

Emigration is indeed noteworthy – although the total number of emigrants is just 200 up on 2009, Irish emigrants are up 50% from 18k to 27k whilst EU-Accession emigrants are down by 33%. This doesn’t augur well if it’s a trend in the sense that overall emigration will increase.

On NAMA, remember than when calculating the Long Term Economic Value of loans they are forbidden from using any analysis produced post 10th January 2010. Remember NAMA are using the CSO projections from December 2008 which only postulates two scenarios for the decade ahead – nil net migration and +600,000.

Let’s hope NAMA is not using demand and supply as a basis for determining long term economic value!

Someone from taxpayer-funded ESRI (perhaps Richard Tol or Edgar Morgenroth) should pop along and tell us taxpayers why, for the second year running, ESRI’s net emigration forecast has proved extremely inaccuarate. What are they doing wrong?


On July 14. to great media fanfare, ESRI forecast net emigration of 70k in the year to April 2010 and another 50k in the year to April 2011, having last year predicted also 50k in the year to April 2009. This is what I posted here in response:

“ESRI predicted net emigration of 50k in the year to April 2009. The final outcome in the year to April 2009 was net emigration of 7k. ESRI overestimated net emigration in that year by 43k. Paul The Octopus would have done better.The figure for the year to April 2010 will be a lot higher than for the year to April 2009, but there is no indication that it will be anything like 70k.”

Uncannily accurate on my part, if I may say so. Its on one of the threads on this site on July 14 last, lest anyone think I’m pulling a fast one. My own prediction around the same time (which I’m searching the threads for) has proved almost exactly accuarate. I think I predicted 35k. I based my calculation on the QNHS surveys. I suggest ESRI do the same from now on. The composition of the net outflow was a bit different to what I expected, in relation to its distribution between Irish and foreign nationals, although this was due entirely to the QNHS figures being inaccurate in this respect (although highly accurate in relation to the overall figure). Bear in mind that ESRI’s ‘forecast’ was for a period (year to April 2010) which was allready over when their ‘forecast’ was published (14 July 2010). So, its a bit like me posting a forecast today that Tyrone will win the 2010 All-Ireland.

ESRI’s forecast also implied that the population would fall in 2010. This hasn’t happened. It rose by 11,000.

Regarding future net emigration, I think ESRI are in line for a hatrick in 2011. Based on a quick scan of the QNHS figures, it looks as if the net outflow peaked in late 2009 and was sharply down in 2010 Q2. This would be in line with recent PPSN numbers that I’ve referred to on other threads. But, I nned to check further to be certain of this.

The big loser in these figures is, of course, Joan Burton, who predicted this time last year that 500k would emigrate in 2010. I rubbished her claim here at the time and have been proved correct in doing so. But, as Joan is a 24-carat Dublin 4 left-liberal, the media will ignore it.


According to that article you have linked from the Indo, ESRI has projected emigration (by implication total because the article says nothing about net) of 70,000 in 2010 (reads like the calendar year) and 50,000 in 2011. Actual emigration in the year to April 2010 was 65,300, a little over 5,000 a month.

Based purely on the article you have referenced and the new release, it looks as if ESRI has probably done pretty well. The point you have made seems to be based on two assertions for which you have provided no support beyond quoting your own earlier comment – that the ESRI projections were net, and that the year on which their numbers are based is the year to April rather than the calendar year.


These are fair points you make. There was some debate about those two very points earlier this year. Garret Fitzgerald even discussed them in an IT article. But, I am sticking to my guns that the ESRI forecasts are net and for the year to April, and therefore wrong. Perhaps some ESRI person can tell us for certain. Naturally, I will abide by what he/she says. Busy now, so can’t produce sources, but will tonight.

The Indo article is unclear as to the time frame within which this 120,000 will emigrate.
It should probably mean either the 24 months starting Jan 2010 (based on 5,000 a month), but the “Cork City” analogy just confuses things. In fact it is just plain wrong.

Is there some sort of ‘Statistics for journalists’ course that this guy can go to?

“ESRI’s forecast also implied that the population would fall in 2010.”

In the Indo Article? Where? Based on the non-national figures? It doesnt follow that there will be a population fall from that.

Fair enough, but his agreement doesn’t make the assumption correct.

The CSO explicitly state that they mean the fiscal year (i.e. May-April). I had a quick look at the ESRI report (the one I believe the Indo is referring to ). There seems to be no reason to suppose they are not using the calendar year. (i.e. Jan – Dec).

Anyway , I think we are all agreed that emigration is, once again, a feature of the Irish society. Should we be talking about the effect of emigration, rather than whether or not the estimates are correct.

What happens if things dont work out for them abroad? The UK isn’t exactly in great shape.

Where are the Irish nationals emigrating to?
For the past few years GDP growth in Poland has been higher than in Ireland and unemployment has also been lower than here for a number of years also.
Polish immigrants are still coming here in significant numbers but absent any official statistics I have heard of no one emigrating to Poland.

As Wolfgang Munchau stated in the FT a couple of weeks labour mobility has failed in the EU to occur in a accordance with what was intended.

It is critical we find out where the bulk of Irish people are going .If its not to Europe then this is another nail in the coffin of european political and economic integration for Irish citizens.

Despite the fall in migrant workers, in the second quarter of 2010 non-Irish nationals accounted for 12.4% of those in employment, while 46,800 were unemployed, according to the QNHS.

CSO data in July showed that about 79,000 or almost 17% on the Live Register were non-Irish.

Since Dec 2009, there was an increase of approximately 5% in the number of people from the UK on the Register bringing their total number to approximately 19,000.

There was a marginal increase in the number of citizens from the EU-13, i.e. the EU before the new members joined, less Ireland and Britain to a total of 4,100.

In relation to the new member states that joined the EU, there was a decrease by about 2% with approximately 42,000 on the Live Register.

The number of people from non-EU countries on the Live Register was over 14,000. The biggest number of people on the Register from outside the EU are from Nigeria (approximately 3,000) followed by the USA (approximately 700) and the Congo with over 600 on the Live Register.

wow says.

”check out the pdf sean its there”

Thanks .I flashed through the PDF and missed it first time.
It appears emigration to the twelve accession states is less than a quarter to everywhere else.
Also there does nt appear to be a breakdown of Irish nationals versus accession state nationals emigrating to the accession states.
Presumably the vast majority are returning east european nationals rather than Irish going by anecdotal evidence.

Sorry to intrude on this thread with off topic stuff but I see Seanie has been up to even more recent tricks – post Anglo nationaliastion – what is the meaning of “moving” in this context. I mean just moving 15m around within the bank shouldn’t have the effect of paying of other family members loans. I obviously have a lot to learn!


Maybe Alan Dukes would take you on his knee and explain this blatant piece of corruption in a state run bank.

The key point is that net emigration is back and on the increase among those most relevant to the Irish property market. The CSO population projections that underpin so many stories of our ‘strong demographic fundamentals’ did not include a net emigration scenario. What demographic assumptions are the highly-paid experts in Nama using for their fantasy ‘long term economic value’?

A Punter,

This predates nationalisation and the arrival of the current management. It shows once again that Brian Cowen was completely and utterly wrong to overrule all advice and not nationalise Anglo on the night of the guarantee.

Cowen, Lenihan and their advisers knew Anglo was insolvent at that juncture. They should have moved in and kicked the management out. All sorts of looting & shredding went on in the interim.

@A Punter,

“This predates nationalisation and the arrival of the current management.”

No this happened after nationalisation – RTE was quite specific on this.

I can appreciate that this isn’t a black and white issue but could someone comment on the perceived effect of this information on Ireland economically in the collective sense?

Is this a brain drain or is it better they leave to offset the dole payments? Is this good short term but bad long term or vice versa.

Let me predict that 2015 will be the year of greatest emigration, ever. After that year it will decline to merely half the number of school leavers each year.

All the banks have had irregular movements in funds. I spoke of this in posts years ago. They “create” book entries in different branches, while doing god alone knows what with the money. That is for significant retail depositors engaged in evasion. What will they do for Government ministers and directors of the bank?

The Gardai will continue to sit on their hands. They are well attuned, politically. Everyone knows, but no one wants the evidence!!!

@ Seán D

Overseas experience is usually a positive for a future entrepreneur, a person who wants a career in a multinational and maybe in academia.

We can of course spend money on producing top graduates for other economies and if the country remains misgoverned over the next decade with sluggish growth and high taxes, then emigrants who have settled overseas are not likely to return.

Enterprise Ireland issued a press release on Tuesday titled ‘Enterprise Ireland Reports Record Number of Irish Companies Investigating New Export Markets’.

It said: “Among the trends emerging in this year’s International Markets Week is a strong increase in demand for meetings to assist in targeting the high-growth markets of China, Brazil, the Gulf and South Africa

…over 1,700 individual client meetings have been scheduled over the course of the week – a strong demonstration of the fact that Irish companies are determinedly pursuing growth through export sales and reaching new international markets..” 

EI can help but it’s not possible to really get to know other countries and their markets from Ireland.

Even the big companies have serious problems in operating in China.

So it may help if more Irish settled in the BRICs and other emerging markets but unless a product is very compelling, it’s a lot harder than chairborne policymakers in Dublin may think.

If any ‘expert’ waffles about the 1.3bn consumers in China, run a mile!


I agree with you that it would be very helpful, and presumably quite feasible, if someone from the ESRI were to confirm here

(a) their forecasts for emigration and immigration
(b) their forecasting periods (is 2011 for example Jan-Dec 2011)
(c) the apparent differences (I agree with JTO that there appear to be differences) between CSO and ESRI numbers.

Like JTO I have posted questions on here eg from 21st July

“I would echo JTO’s question and further ask you to confirm that your forecasts for 2010 are for a net decline in our population
(stood at 4 459 300 in April 2009 according to CSO estimates).

Also could you indicate the components of net emigration (emigration and immigration) – someone on here asserted that you have forecast 10k of immigrants in each of the years 2010 and 2011?”

But there haven’t been responses.

As regards the interpretation of the CSO’s numbers, I have used the release from the CSO yesterday and their “database direct” that has been updated with yesterday’s numbers to produce the statistics that are shown on namawinelake.

Also there was this exchange in July

# Jagdip Singh Says:
July 14th, 2010 at 9:07 am

Does anyone know what the ESRI mean by the following:

“This expected fall in the rate of unemployment is related in part to expected migratory outflows – 70,000 in the year ending April 2010 and 50,000 in the year ending April 2011. ”

Is a “migratory outflow” = emigration – immigration? Or is a “migratory outflow” emigration only?

According to the CSO 63,000 people emigrated in the year to April 2009 (57,000 immigrated which made the net a 6,000 outflow). If “migratory outflow” means emigration only are the ESRI saying that emigration has only risen 7,000 from 63,000 in 2009 to 70,000 in 2010. Looks very, very low based on what I’ve seen in my own neck of the woods.
# Brian McCormick Says:
July 14th, 2010 at 9:16 am

@ Jagdip Singh

It is a net figure. They estimate the gross outflow at 80,000 (2010) and 60,000 (2011) and inflow at 10,000 for both 2010 and 2011.

I though Brian McCormick worked with the ESRI though of course the BM above might not be the BM at ESRI.

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