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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 3 Jun 1987

Vol. 373 No. 2

Written Answers. - Emigration Statistics.


asked the Taoiseach the emigration figures to Britain for both male and female and the age groups for the years 1980 to 1986 inclusive and the first six months in 1987.

The only reliable estimates of migration are those for net migration between successive censuses of population, that is the difference between the inward and outward flows in the period. The estimate for a period is obtained as the difference between the actual intercensal population change and the natural increase, total births less total deaths.

In the five year period between the 1981 and 1986 censuses, births exceeded deaths by 169,000. According to the provisional 1986 census of population figures the actual increase in population in the same period was 94,000. The difference of 75,000 is taken as an estimate of net emigration i.e. the extent to which outward migration in the 1981-86 period was greater than inward migration.

Population estimates in respect of mid-April are made on an annual basis. Using the estimates for mid-April 1982-85 in conjunction with appropriate 12-monthly data for births and deaths, the estimated net outflow for each year (to mid-April) of the intercensal period is as follows:

Year to mid-April

Estimated Net Outflow











Total 1981-1986


The population estimate for mid-April 1987 is not yet available.

In the absence of comprehensive documentary or other administrative procedures relating to the movements of persons into and out of the State, there is no way of determining the actual number of inward and outward migrants, their composition by sex and age group or the destination of those emigrating.

When the population count from the 1986 census becomes available by sex and age group it will be possible to estimate the effects of the intercensal net migration on different sex-age groupings of the population.