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  • Pets abandoned by emigrating owners, say centres

    Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

    About a year ago, the number of cars being abandoned at Dublin Airport was cited in the media as an indication of rising emigration. A new measure has emerged: the number of abandoned pets.

    The Irish Independent reports that charities that look after pets are seeing an increase in the number of owners leaving their pets, with people blaming financial difficulties or their intentions to emigrate to seek work. Last year there were 20,000 dogs that were abandoned or given up, with about half of those put down.

    The paper reports that the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals “has received a recent influx of calls from people looking to surrender or re-home their pets.” An animal rescue centre in Tipperary has seen the numbers of animals it’s taking in rising by a fifth, while facing slumping donations.

    In an editorial, the paper says:

    It seems a reasonable guess that people intending to emigrate form a high proportion of those who abandon animals. This in turn draws attention to the increase in emigration among both Irish people and returning immigrants, an inevitable consequence of the recession.

    People who are planning to leave Ireland may not be aware that in many cases they may simply be able to take their animals with them. While Ireland has strict regulations that make it difficult to bring animals in, most emigrant destinations allow intending immigrants to move with their pets.

    As for the definitive answer on how many people are emigrating, we await the publication of the CSO statistics, due in the next few weeks, to reveal the numbers behind the anecdotes.

    Related web pages:

    Irish-born in US among oldest, least poor

    Monday, March 9th, 2009

    Irish-born residents of the US are among the oldest immigrant groups, and least likely to be poor, according to a survey released by the US Census Bureau. The study examined demographic profiles of the 38.1 million foreign-born population in the US. In 2000, 269,831 of those were Irish.

    The report found that the oldest foreign born populations tend to be from Europe, with those born in Hungary (64 years) and Italy (63.1 years) having the oldest median ages. Those from Greece, Germany and Ireland have median ages of about 60. The median age for the US population as a whole is 36.7, while the total foreign-born population has a median age of 40.2.

    Immigrants from Ireland have a poverty rate of only 5%; those from Ireland and the Netherlands were the least likely to be poor. In contrast, 51% of Somali residents live in poverty, along with about a quarter of those born in Iraq, the Dominican Republic, Jordan and Mexicio.

    In a separate study, the bureau has found that 12% of all Americans report Irish ancestry, or a total of 36 million in 2007.

    In researching this information, I was surprised to find that the Irish don’t even make it into a list of the top 25 countries of birth for immigrants in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as evidenced by this graphic on the New York Times website.

    Related web pages:

    36.5 million US residents claimed Irish ancestry in 2007

    Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

    As it does annually, the US Census Bureau has issued its fact sheet in preparation for the observance of Irish-American Heritage Month. Irish-American Heritage Month takes place every March.  In the fact sheet we learn the following statistics:

    • 36.5 million US residents claimed Irish ancestry in 2007; only Germany can claim more descendants in the US.
    • 24% of Massachusetts residents are of Irish ancestry; 12% of the US population is Irish.
    • 32% of Irish-American adults over 25 have at least a bachelor’s degree, while 92% have at least a high school diploma. This compares to 28% and 85% for the national average.
    • US imports from Ireland totalled $26.2 billion from January to October 2008, while $7.4 billion worth of goods went from the US to Ireland.

    See the full press release from the US Census Bureau.
    See last year’s Presidential proclamation of Irish-American Heritage Month.

    New immigrants have better emigration options, claims “Economist” mag

    Monday, December 1st, 2008

    Irish unemployment could be reduced by a percentage point with the emigration of 20,000 workers, says a report in the Economist. The report speculates that emigration is most likely to affect the 15% of the population that is non-national – mainly due to enhanced opportunities in the home countries of eastern Europeans, and declining economies in traditional Irish emigrant strongholds.

    In truth, with the economic crisis hurting such traditional boltholes as Britain, America and Australia, as well as newer hotspots like Dubai, the options for laid-off Dublin lawyers or builders from Cork are limited. For now, though, things look brighter for those from Eastern Europe. Polish banks may be shedding staff, but this is a good time to be a Polish engineer or builder of big infrastructure. A torrent of EU regional aid is about to hit the ex-communist countries: across eastern and central Europe there are plans for new airports, fast trains and motorways. Poland has stadiums to build for the European football championship in 2012. The Polish and Lithuanian governments are actively trawling for workers in Ireland.

    Think-tanks like the ESRI now forecast a net outflow of migration from Ireland of some 30,000 over the year to next April. Harder numbers are difficult to come by: Ireland is not a police state, and seasonal workers are tricky to monitor. Some emigrants will be Irish, or non-EU nationals. But the political significance is clear: if 20,000 workers from eastern Europe left Ireland, that would reduce unemployment by about a percentage point. Departing Poles would take their spending power with them, admittedly. But on balance, if they leave, it will be another reward for open labour markets. For the first time, a jump in Irish unemployment may be offset by non-nationals leaving the country.

    In the most optimistic scenario, skilled Poles, Balts and others will head home to wait out the storm, finding secure (if lower-paid) jobs there, but then return when Ireland picks up again. This would be a big step forward for Europe as well. For such dynamic and flexible migration has been an economic grail in the EU for years, as politicians looked enviously at Americans’ willingness to move from one state to another in search of work. (In contrast, EU countries that impose curbs on foreigners give migrant workers already in them a reason to stay during downturns, for fear that it will be hard to return.)

    Read the entire article at the Economist website..

    No rise in new emigrants to Britain

    Monday, November 24th, 2008

    Figures from Britain show that there is no significant rise in the numbers of new emigrants arriving from Ireland for the first time to Britain in the first half of this year.

    The Irish Times is reporting that 5,100 Irish citizens registered for national insurance numbers between January and June. This is consistent with the 9,000 to 10,200 people who had registered during each of the four years

    The report notes, however, that the numbers do not show emigrants who may be reactivating a number they were previously allocated. Any emigrants returning to Britain after working there previously would not be showing up in these figures.

    Among those Irish registering, 58% were men; 44% were aged 18 to 24 and 43% were from 25 to 34. 40% went to London, 11% went to Scotland, and 8% were in southeastern England.

    The article quoted Joe O’Brien, policy officer at Crosscare Migrant Project as saying that the figures reflected his organisation’s experience:

    “I would think a lot of the people being let go at the moment are eastern Europeans, and there has been no increase among the Irish who come to us looking to go to England. We haven’t seen it, and we haven’t heard the organisations in London saying it either.”

    See the article on the Irish Times website.

    Irish in Australia increasing, figures show

    Friday, November 21st, 2008

    The number of Irish nationals coming to Australia is rising substantially, according to Department of Immigration figures reported in the Irish Echo. The figures show increasing numbers of people immigrating to Australia under working holiday visas, employer-sponsored 457 visas, permanent residency visas, and through the Family Migration stream.  If current trends continue, 87,000 Irish nationals will be issued visas this year, up from 81,070 last year and 75,246 the year before.

    There were 7,332 working holiday visas issued between July 1 and October 31 this year, up 33% from the same period last year, when there were 5,535 issued. In the same period in 2006, there were 4,733 issued.

    More Irish are choosing to stay in Australia at the end of their one-year working holiday: between July and October, 1,239 applied for an extension, a quadrupling from the 371 who applied last year. Over 10% of those on working holiday visas are now applying for a second year.  Last year, there was a record total of 15,625 working holiday visas, and this number will increase for 2008/2009.

    The number of 457 visas, which are employer-sponsored and valid for up to four years has nearly doublied in two years.  For July to October, there were 1,220 visas, up from 670 in 2006. More people are immigating with partners and dependents: 900 of the 467 visas were to primary applications and 320 are secondary, up from 600 and 160 respectively last year.

    The number of Irish people offered resident visas from July through October this year has jumped 60%, from 391 in 2007 to 633 in 2008.

    Irish visitor numbers, however, are decreasing; the 16,730 who came to Australia on holiday visas between July and October represented a decline of 8%.

    See the article on the Irish Echo website.