Irish have poorest health of ethnic communities in Britain


A new study by University College Dublin studying Irish emigration patterns has found that the Irish in Britain are an ageing population, the oldest of all ethnic groups and worryingly, the ethnic group in poorest health.

The 2011 Census shows that the median age for usual Irish residents in Britain is 61.7 years, compared to 55.3 for Jamaica or 30.1 for the Polish.

UCD explain that as per the census, almost 65 per cent of Irish-born residents arrived before 1981, which leaves the Irish at the older end of the non-UK born population, of which a total of 36 per cent are aged between 25 and 39.

The 2011 Census was the first time in 50 years that the Irish were not the biggest non-UK born population, after being overtaken by migrants from India, Pakistan and Poland.

Dublin weather 099Britain is still the primary target for people leaving Ireland but numbers have dwindled from 70 per cent arriving in the UK between the 1950s and 1970s, compared to just 24.6 per cent now.

However, the recession has seen numbers rise dramatically in the past five years. In April 2013 21,900 Irish people moved to Britain, as opposed to the 7,600 who emigrated here in 2008.

The ‘Supporting the Next Generation of the Irish Diaspora’ also shows the heavy decline of Irish people emigrating to the north of the country, opting instead to settle in London, or the south of England.

According to the study it is because the areas are not being replenished by younger people moving over, however there are reports that there is a growing vibrant population in university cities such as Newcastle and Liverpool, due to graduates settling in the areas and taking up professional roles.

More Irish people work in the health/social work sector (40,860) than any other, followed closely by education (32,580) and construction (29,800).

Linked to perhaps the age of the Irish population in Britain, of ethnic groups in England and Wales 27.8 per cent of White Irish described themselves as being in ‘not good health’ as did 29.8 per cent of white gypsy or Irish traveller.

These were the largest numbers recorded of ethnic groups in Britain, compared to only 8.4 per cent of Black/African/Carribean/Black British: African describing their health in the same way.

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