Northern Irish population increases by 1%…

The Northern Irish population grew last year by one per cent, (17,000 people) according to estimates from the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency. More than half the growth is due to in-migration, as opposed to natural growth and is significantly up from the year before. The NISRA:

“Between 2005 and 2006 it is estimated Northern Ireland’s population grew by more than 17,000. Northern Ireland has seen significant migration since European Union expansion in May 2004 and last year for the first time migration contributed more to population growth than natural change.”

There were main factors:

– a natural change of 8,300 people (22,700 births and 14,400 deaths);

– estimated net migration into Northern Ireland from Great Britain of 900 people; and

– estimated net international migration into Northern Ireland from outside the UK of 9,000 people.

Population growth due to migration (+9,900 people) was the highest ever observed and for the first time was larger than natural growth (+8,300 people). In the decade to 2004 the annual rate of population increase was around 7,000 persons (0.4%) each year. The 2005 and 2006 increases in population are significantly larger at 14,000 people (0.8%) and 17,000 people (1.0%) respectively.

Meanwhile, in the Republic, CSO has released their birth rate stats, and the rate seems to be back on the rise, though it remains slightly below natural replacement levels:

Women in the Republic are continuing to have more children than women in most EU countries, despite high childcare costs and record numbers of women in employment.

Irish women have an average of 1.9 children, compared with Finland (1.8), Germany (1.3) and Poland (1.2). Only France has a higher fertility rate (1.94).

Sociologists say the increase in Ireland’s fertility rate is strongly linked to the economy and the abundance of jobs. Birth rates in Ireland declined quickly during the 1980s. However, the figure began to rise in the mid-1990s, in parallel with economic growth.

While Ireland’s fertility rate is high, it is just under the level which would maintain population levels in the long run (2.1).

  • Rory

    I welcome this news that the new intake are settling down and feel secure and contented enough to produce offspring. Variety in a society is healthy and more especially so in a society previously so inward looking. These additions can only but bless the community and the sooner these children grow up and interbreed with the native species the better. Miscegenation is the natural way forward to social harmony on this planet. So more, please!

  • RG Cuan

    Maybe you should set up some ‘interbreeding’ schemes Rory 😉

  • Dewi

    Are the migrants living in concentrated areas or spread about? Like a specific area of Belfast fr’instance ?

  • Baudrillard

    It’s interesting to compare these migration figures against Northern Ireland’s unemployment rates.

    I think around 4% of the NI working population are unemployed – of which a high proportion are long term unemployed (40%?)

    How does this square with nearly 7,000 people coming into the country and most (presumably) successfully finding work?

    Why can immigrants – who, let’s face it, should be at a greater disadvantage – be more successful at finding jobs than locals?

  • Dec

    Why can immigrants – who, let’s face it, should be at a greater disadvantage – be more successful at finding jobs than locals?

    To find a job, you have to go looking. There lies the difference.

  • mnob

    The 40% arent long term unemployed – they are economically inactive and include students, incapacitated et al.

  • mnob

    And the discussion is missing the point on the NI statistics – how many are orange and how many green ? 🙂

  • Dewi

    Despite the notional catholicism of the bulk of the new migrants it’s my experience that most are not religious. Almost without exception in my experience they intend to stay for a while but want to go back home eventually.
    That might, of course, be the usual view of economic migrants across the ages.

  • Baudrillard

    mnob: ‘The 40% arent long term unemployed – they are economically inactive and include students, incapacitated et al’

    No, the government has done everything (to make things look good for itself of course!) to shake out everyone from the unemployment figures who are economically inactive but unavailable for work.

    Take those people out and you are still left with a stubborn figure of 4% unemployed (40% of whom are long term unemployed).

    I wonder if that 4% unemployed are always going to be there no matter what government does to intervene (and thus invalidating back-to-work schemes) or is there something else that needs to be done that isn’t being tried?

  • I for one welcome the influx of the immigrants. They at more culture and welcome diversity to our country. I think of it as being like a blood transfusion, if new blood is coming in the old bad blood has to go.

  • John

    I welcome some immmigration, however not too much!

    England is ridiculous. Inward migration has ruined that country. Let’s hope it stay under control in ours

  • Rory

    I can positively assure you, John that inward immigration has not ruined England with my own good example where I have brought nothing but economic prosperity, cultural and artistic bounty and rays of sunshine and hope. Why the place would be a festering backwater without my presence.

  • slug

    I would welcome more people with differnet skin colours. Most of these migrants are depressingly white.

  • slug

    “Are the migrants living in concentrated areas or spread about? Like a specific area of Belfast fr’instance ?”

    Hope so – that way they won’t assimilateto the values of NI’s population.

  • Dewi

    “I can positively assure you, John that inward immigration has not ruined England with my own good example where I have brought nothing but economic prosperity, cultural and artistic bounty and rays of sunshine and hope. Why the place would be a festering backwater without my presence.”

    London’s odd though Rory – like when u want to cross at the lights they paint “Look Left” on your side of the road and “Look Right” on the other. I always get confused and end up shutting my eyes b4 I cross!

    Agree with your sentiments by the way !

  • Oranges for Sale

    Its amusing to hear all you middle class liberals masturbating your left wing egos. The only thing migrants bring to this country is a sense of alienation to the locals. These people don’t come here to contribute to this country but just to exploit it for as much they can.
    Walking down Royal Avenue these days, you would think you were in Bucharest rather than Belfast with all those Romanian beggars pan handling for money. This is the reality of your multicultural society. How embarrassing it is to live in a country which cant even control its own frontiers anymore.

  • sportsman

    All very nice with your melting pot, multi-cultural wonderland . BUT DOES THE INCREASE IN TNE NATIVES GO TO USSUNS OR THEMMUNS? Sod the Rumanians.

  • Outsider

    Its wonderful to see that all the left wing liberals have got their say in and its clear they have had little interaction with migrants to NI. I have found that they are primarily arrogant and very insulting, they generally have poor english and are only here to exploit this country.

    I agree that a small number over here would have been refreshing but of course too many have came over and they are probably here to stay.

  • Baudrillard

    It’s been said before – but worth repeating: It’s a bit rich for any Irish (or Ulster Scots for that matter) person to start complaining about migration!

    Whether you like it or not, it’s an effect of globalisation. Basic theory – labour and capital go where they are most effective and you’re in for worse luck than King Canute if you try. To say migrants come here to exploit the economy is stating the bloody obvious.

    (And don’t bash globalisation – How else can you expect to get your replica football jersey from China or your cheap chicken breasts from Thailand?)

    The problem is to find a way to make society work well – a hard nut to crack – grumping about closing borders won’t work.

  • As someone who actually worked very closely with many polish immigrants I can hand on heart say that the last two commenters urgently need to see a proctologist for head removal. In many cases they speak better english than I do, though maybe you are mistaking an accent for poor grammer. Also, at least in my experience with the Holiday Inn in Ormeau Avenue, they are damn hard working, more so than many “natives” doing the same job. Yes I’m left wing, blow me, but I am a working class boy born and raised in East Belfast, so take your assumptions of middle class and shove them where the sun rarely shines.

  • Animus

    My experience is that many natives struggle to string a coherent sentence together, so lack of English should not be a barrier.

    As a left-wing liberal who has worked with migrant communities, I wonder where this sense of arrogance is? I haven’t seen it as a whole. Yes, some people are arrogant, some people are impatient, irritating, annoying in a variety of ways. Do you expect migrants to be paragons of virtue and beacons of happiness in all that they do? Do you know anyone local who is like that? It sounds like Outsider, you see what you want to see and expecting rudeness, you get it. Could it possibly be your attitude? Just a little bit?

    What I have seen is a number of people who want to improve themselves and many want to return to their home country when they have saved money. A recent report in the Guardian (where else?, I hear you right-wing xenophobes sneer)showed that a high proportion of migrants lived in crowded housing conditions and lived frugal lives in order to send money home. I think it’s laughable – and rather sad – to think of people who are often living rather squalid lives, working very hard, as sinister plotters trying to take us for all we’ve got.

  • DK

    “I for one welcome the influx of the immigrants. They at more culture and welcome diversity to our country. I think of it as being like a blood transfusion, if new blood is coming in the old bad blood has to go.”

    Is this a quote from an Irish chieftan as the first boat of settlers hoved into view….

  • noel adams

    Local school in tyrone saved from closure thanks to incomers.Covered a few months back on local TV nombers down to 38 now up to 120 thanks to immigration and the school has taken on Portugese and chinese classroom assistants anyone still think incomers are part of the problem.

  • nmc

    We have employed loads of Czechs and Polish over the past few years, as well as the usual local kids in the family restaurant. The local kids are there to do as little work as possible for whatever money’s on offer. The Czechs and Polish actually work until you tell them to stop and go for a break. All they want is equal treatment. The local kids expect gratitude for their work, whereas the immigrants are grateful.

    People suggest that they somehow take something from the locals by working here, but that is balls. If you as an employer want to pay x pounds per hour and someone wants to work for x pounds per hour, no-one is doing anyone a favour. It’s a fair days pay for a fair days work. No gratitude necessary from employer or employee, and I believe that any local can find a job of some kind by putting the bong down and going to the job centre.

    I would defend these people to the hilt, I have a lot of respect for some of our employees and consider some of them to be close friends.

    On the subject of street beggars, I agree they should be arrested and re-arrested until they piss off back to London or wherever they were doing their begging before they came here. I detest them beyond my ability to communicate here without getting carried away.

  • mnob

    nmc – the beggars are there sometimes because they are not allowed to work while their cases are being examined by the authorities. They do get food and lodging, but nothing else.

  • kensei

    “Is this a quote from an Irish chieftan as the first boat of settlers hoved into view….”

    Cute, butthere is a fundamental difference between people who come over to live under the law and government of a country and ones who come over with the intention of either overthrowing the government or establishing the power of another. I think the UK Government is having fits on this issue with regard to certain immigrants at the moment, DK.

    You bear no responsibility of course, but the Plantations were wrong. Anyone suggesting we solve Iraq by colonising it?

  • Fraggle

    Quite right kensei, these new immigrants have the common decency accept the existing law and government.

  • Usually I find that the types of person who objects to immigrants are the same xenophobic twats who refuse to socialise outside their own area lest they spend any time with “them’uns”. Quite sad really. I would be interested to see those who object provide soilid reasoning and facts supporting why it should be stopped.

  • sportsman

    someone answer me. Is the natural increase among the natives ussuns or themmuns?

  • Outsider

    The usual predictably boring backlash to anyone who speaks out against immigration.

    However the fact is that at grassroots levels in NI people are fed up with the large number of immigrants to this country and it’s very worrying to note that there are 600,000 illegal immigrants across the UK.

    Maybe I have just seen a bad side to immigrants but I have seen them shoplift, pillage, be arrogant to the locals, their English is generally poor and this is generally used as a reason to be abusive to others. They are not the great workers many consider them to be and they are in general and to say they are better than the Irish is rather insulting.

    We should have immigration but controlled immigration.

  • Rory

    “…I have seen them shoplift, pillage, be arrogant to the locals, their English is generally poor and this is generally used as a reason to be abusive to others. “

    You could, Outsider, be describing the behaviour of some white English youths in any town, in any part of England. Or the third or, more likely, fourth generation of immigrant youths influenced by the values of their indigenous peers. First generation immigrants have tended to be quite intimidated and exceptionally hard working, long-suffering and well behaved. Unlike their yobbish local persecutors,

    I should imagine Ireland has a similar experience, but perhaps not at “grass roots level”. Wherever that strange place might be.