Diversity in the Western Region – Census 2016 results

In the last few decades Ireland has become a much more multicultural society. To what extent is this also evident in and across the Western Region and what are the most recent trends?

Census 2017 Profile 7 Migration and Diversity provides details and a snapshot is posted here.

Non-Irish nationals

In the Western Region in 2016, there were 80,005 non-Irish nationals living in the Western Region, a decrease of over 5,000 (-5,296) or a decline of 6.2% on the 2011 figure. This is similar to the trend nationally though the decrease was much less (- 1.6%).

Country of Origin

Of the non-Irish nationals living in the Western Region in 2016, the largest group was UK nationals accounting for 29.1% or 26,288).

This was followed by Polish nationals comprising 23.6% (18,879).

This contrasts with the picture across the State where Polish nationals were the largest group followed by UK nationals. Within the Western Region, Lithuanians (3,819) comprise the third largest group, followed by Africans (2,434), Latvians (2,362) and Germans (2,281).

Where do non-Irish nationals reside?

Non-Irish nationals are resident across the country and Fig 1.1 shows the distribution by county and the change since 2011.

Within the Western Region non-nationals are widely distributed across the counties as Chart 1 below shows.

Chart 1. Non-Irish nationals Usually Resident and Present 2016, by Western Region county of residence

Galway city is the most multicultural city across the country, with 18.6% of its resident population recorded as non-Irish, this compares to just over 17% of Dublin City residents which were non-Irish nationals.

Considering diversity within towns, Ballyhaunis in Co.Mayo had the highest proportion of non-Irish nationals with 941 persons representing 39.5% of its population. Within this the largest non-Irish group was Polish (159).

Gort in Co. Galway was also in the top ten towns with highest percentage of non-Irish nationals, 2016, with a total number of residents of 2,951, and 26.6% of non-Irish nationals of which the largest group is Brazilian (397).

Dual Irish nationality

As noted earlier, there has been a decline in the number of non-nationals between 2011 and 2016 both nationally and in the Western Region.

The trend in the decline in non-Irish nationals is partly explained by the increase in the number of people holding dual Irish nationality (this coincides with changes to the citizenship application process introduced in 2011).

The numbers living in the Western Region and holding dual citizenship has increased by 5,757 (or 52.7%). This compares to the trend across the state where the numbers of people holding dual citizenship (Irish-other country) increased by 87.4% over the period (104,784 persons)

The numbers living in the Western Region and holding dual citizenship in 2016 was 16,669 and represent a wide range of nationalities. The largest group within the Western Region are Irish-Americans comprising 26.5% (4,419), followed by Irish-UK nationals (3,785) and Irish-Polish, 7.1% (1,201).

It is clear therefore that the Western Region is home to a wide range of nationalities both non-Irish and those with dual citizenship. Further detail is available on www.cso.ie.

Deirdre Frost