Migrants 'Expand' NI Population

Inbound migrants added 5,700 residents to the Northern Ireland population.

However, this is significantly lower than the 9,000 residents added through migration in both 2005-6 and 2006-7 with this recent fall thought to be related to less people coming to live in Northern Ireland from countries outside the UK.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) today published detailed figures on population migration to and from Northern Ireland.

In total 27,500 people came to live in Northern Ireland in the year to June 2008 and 21,700 people left Northern Ireland to live elsewhere.

NISRA published a detailed migration report, Long-term International Migration Estimates for Northern Ireland (2007-8) which examined these new migration figures in detail.

Among some of the key points are that, after a long period through the 1970s and 1980s of emigration from Northern Ireland exceeding immigration - and a period of balanced migration flows during the 1990s - the recent period since 2004 has seen significant population growth due to migration.

Migrants from the expanded EU are the main source of increased migration with the Home Office Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) showing that, in the year to June 2008, some 7,800 people registered to work in Northern Ireland.

This is below the 9,100 people in the year to June 2007 and the latest figures from the WRS suggest that these figures are slowing further (4,800 WRS registrations in the year to March 2009).

Polish migrants are the largest group of migrants from the new EU states, accounting for nearly 60% of such migrants.

In terms of births, during 2008, there were 2,300 births here (with 9% of all births) were to mothers born outside the UK and Ireland, compared to 700 such births (3% of all births) in 2001.

Of these, 1,100 births in 2008 were to mothers from the new EU states, compared to 10 such births in 2001.

Overall migration trends vary across Northern Ireland. Flows around areas such as Botanic (Belfast), Jordanstown (Newtownabbey) and Strand (Derry) are driven by students.

Information from registrations with GPs shows that in parts of Belfast, Craigavon and Dungannon, annual immigration flows in 2008 exceed one in 20 of the resident population.

See: Population Hits Record 61m


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