Non-Irish nationals living in Ireland on the decrease

Non-Irish nationals living Ireland decrease 2016 census

The number of non-Irish nationals living in Ireland has shown a slight decrease, according to the latest Census publication.

The Migration and Diversity study shows there are 535,475 non-Irish living here, down 1.6% compared to the last 2011 Census.

However, the figures do not include around 100,000 people who were granted Irish citizenship since the last census.

Polish nationals were the largest group with 122,515, followed by 103,113 UK nationals and 36,552 Lithuanians.

Ballyhaunis in Mayo had the highest proportion of non-Irish nationals with 941 persons, representing 39.5% of its population. The two next highest were both in Co Longford – Edgeworthstown with 32.3% and Ballymahon with 32.1%.

Dual nationality

Those holding dual nationality has shown an increase of more than 87% to 104,784 – Irish-Americans comprised the largest group, followed by Irish-UK and Irish-Polish.

There were nearly 40,000 people born in Ireland who identified as a nationality other than Irish. Polish nationals were the largest single group, followed by Lithuanians and UK nationals.

Of these more than 14% were aged between 25 and 34 years.

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.

Slightly more than 17% of Dublin City residents and one in six of Fingal residents were non-Irish nationals.

Non-Irish nationals are more likely to be unemployed, with a rate of 15.4% compared to 12.6% among the Irish population.

They are also more likely to work in more manual jobs – 46.9% were in non-manual, manual skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled compare to 39.2% of Irish nationals

Non-Irish nationals are also younger – half of non-Irish nationals were aged between 25 and 42 years of age, compared to just a quarter of the Irish population.

Foreign language

The number of people speaking a foreign language at home has increased by 19% since the last census, with the top languages being Polish, Lithuanian and Romanian.

Of those speaking a foreign language at home – more than 600,000 people – 40% were Irish citizens.

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