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Exploring Ireland's Population Shift: The Impact of Immigration on Demographic Changes

Fine Gael's new leader, Simon Harris, highlighted that Ireland is a nation shaped by immigration. However, what do the latest statistics reveal about Ireland's population and the number of immigrants residing here?

Total population in Ireland in 2 decades
Total population in Ireland in 2 decades

In 20 years' time, Ireland’s total population had increased from 3.9 million people to 5.3 million. Indicating a 1.3 million increase in the total population. Among that population, approximately 45% are formed by net migration (People entering and leaving Ireland), and around 55% are formed by natural increase (Annual births and deaths)

Population shift between 2019 and 2023
Ireland population shift between 2019 and 2023

Ever since the total population in Ireland hit 5 million, the population has been increasing rapidly in recent years. Based on the population changes in the past five years,  only 2021 is below the average population increase, mainly due to the pandemic and lockdown of Covid 19.

Among the five years from 2019 to 2023, other than 2021, the increase in population is all due to the number of immigrants around the globe, whereas the country's natural birth and death rate remains constant and stable. In 2023, the number of immigrants holds 80% of the total increased population in Ireland, which marks the highest percentage in Ireland’s history for the past 20 years, exceeding the rate of 73% in 2007.

In addition, a higher average number of employment permits were issued in the first three months of 2024 (3.3k) than the average number of 2.4k per month in 2023. We can confidently conclude that the number of immigrants will continue to increase in the upcoming years, provided that the Irish government announces no exceptional events or policies. However, the impact of the decision regarding raising the minimum threshold to apply for an employment permit in 2025 remains uncertain.

Future Direct is one of the leading immigration consultancy firms that provide immigration services to corporate and individual clients in Ireland. Should you face any difficulties or rejections in applying for your employment or residence permit in Ireland, call us today at +353 872400433 or email We are happy to answer your questions and help you in this matter.


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