Although the numbers of Irish nationals leaving the country is down by 13 per cent, the number emigrating to Britain continues to rise, latest figures show.
The Central Statistics Office’s latest figures report that 35,300 people left Irish shores in the year up to April 2015, down from 40,700 the year before.
But while not as many are going further afield, the amount of Irish people moving to Britain grew by 7 per cent to 19,200 this year.
That means over half (54.4 per cent) of the total people emigrating from Ireland are UK-bound.
Australia saw the biggest decline in popularity, with 7,500 people moving there from Ireland in the 12-month period, down from 10,000 the previous year.
It had seen 18,200 Irish people arrive there in 2011-12.
The US also saw a slight fall in numbers with just 5,900 arriving in the year up to April 2015, down from 6,900 the previous year and 8,600 in 2011-12.
Going up in popularity was Canada following an allocation increase in working holiday visas for Irish people there, jumping from 4,700 in 2013-14 to 7,700 in the year up to April 2015.
The CSO also report that only one in seven people were unemployed before they left Ireland (for any other country).
In reverse, the numbers arriving in Ireland has risen by 14 per cent to 69,300. However, this includes returning Irish nationals who make up 12,100 of that total.
The amount of Irish people returning to the country is also up, by 4 per cent from 11,600 in 2013-14.
The Irish Youth Council has expressed its concern over the amount of young people still leaving the country despite improved employment figures.
Marie-Claire McAleer, NYCI Senior Research and Policy Officer said: “Overall, the emigration and return migration figures are disappointing. We had hoped to see a much bigger drop in the emigration figures, but this is not evident from the statistics.
“The number of 15 to 24 year olds emigrating is 30,400. Although down 3,100 on last year, it is still extremely high.
“Failure to attract young emigrants back in the future has serious social and economic policy implications for Ireland. The social cost of emigration is reflected in terms of the impact on the family, the impact of an alteration in Ireland’s age structure and the emergence of a youth generation gap.”le.