Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Emigration and Immigration Figures.

3.

asked the Taoiseach the net emigration or immigration in each of the last five years.

Direct measures of net migration as such are not available. An indirect estimate of net migration for the period of years between successive censuses of population is obtained by comparing the actual increase in population in that period with the natural increase — births less deaths — occurring in the same period.

For the intercensal period April 1971 to April 1979 net migration was estimated at 109,000 persons inwards. Subject to this overall figure, estimates of net migration for individual years of the period have been made using a number of indicators of trends in population. The estimates of inward migration for years ending April 1977 to April 1979 are as follows:

Year ending April 1977

10,000 (inwards)

Year ending April 1978

7,000 (inwards)

Year ending April 1979

16,000 (inwards)

The final census figure for 1981 is not yet available.

On the basis of the provisional total already issued, net migration for the intercensal period April 1979 to April 1981 was estimated at 9,000 persons outwards. When the final 1981 census total becomes available in mid-1982 this estimate will be reviewed and subject to this overall figure the separate estimates for the years ending April 1980 and April 1981 will then be made.

It is all very confusing. Are figures kept for movement of people through airports and seaports and, hence, should the Minister not be able to get an accurate figure for this year?

The answer would be no.

Why not?

Because between here and England and the North of Ireland we have very free movement and it would be literally impossible.