What are the reasons for people to depart from Ireland?

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By Laurie Baratti

Ireland’s Emigration Numbers

Ireland has seen waves of emigration throughout its history, with many leaving in search of better opportunities and a higher quality of life. In recent years, the number of people leaving Ireland has increased once again, with over 30,000 Irish citizens emigrating in 2019 alone. This raises the question: what are the reasons for people to depart from Ireland?

Economic Factors: High Cost of Living

One of the primary reasons for emigration from Ireland is the high cost of living. The cost of rent and property prices in cities like Dublin and Cork has skyrocketed in recent years, making it increasingly difficult for young people to find affordable housing. Coupled with high taxes and a high cost of healthcare, many Irish citizens are seeking better economic opportunities abroad.

Employment Opportunities: Lack of Diversity

Another factor contributing to emigration is the lack of diversity in employment opportunities. Many young people in Ireland struggle to find jobs in their field, particularly in the tech industry where jobs are often dominated by multinational corporations. Furthermore, the lack of diversity in industries means that there are few opportunities for career advancement, leading many to seek better employment prospects elsewhere.

Education: Limited Choices for Higher Education

Ireland’s higher education system is highly respected, but it is also highly competitive and limited in scope. Many students find it difficult to gain entry to the top universities or to find courses that suit their interests. This lack of choice means that many young people are forced to look abroad for higher education opportunities, particularly in fields like medicine or engineering.

Housing: Unaffordable Rent and Property Prices

As mentioned earlier, the cost of housing in Ireland is a major factor driving emigration. In addition to high rents, many young people are unable to afford to buy property due to the inflated property market. This is particularly true in urban areas, where the demand for housing is high and supply is limited. As a result, many Irish citizens are looking for more affordable housing options abroad.

Healthcare: Inadequate Public Health System

Ireland’s public healthcare system has been criticized for its lack of funding and resources. Many Irish citizens face long wait times to access medical care or are forced to pay for private healthcare. This has led many to emigrate in search of better access to healthcare services.

Politics: Unstable Government and Brexit

Ireland has a long history of political instability, with frequent changes in government and political unrest. The recent Brexit referendum has added further uncertainty to the political landscape, leading many to question the stability of the Irish economy and job market. This has led some Irish citizens to seek more stable political environments abroad.

Climate: Cold and Rainy Weather

Ireland’s climate is notoriously rainy and cold, making it a less than ideal location for those seeking warmer weather. Many Irish citizens are looking for more temperate climates abroad, particularly in countries with better weather and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Family and Social Connections: Seeking Better Life

Many Irish citizens emigrate in search of a better life for themselves and their families. This may include better economic opportunities, access to healthcare and education, or simply a higher quality of life. Often, these individuals have friends or family members who have already emigrated, making the transition easier.

Cultural and Lifestyle Differences: Adjusting to Irish Life

Ireland’s culture and lifestyle can be difficult to adjust to for some immigrants, particularly those who come from non-European countries. The country’s strong Catholic identity, pub culture, and tight-knit communities can be alienating for some, leading to a desire to return to their home countries or seek out more culturally familiar environments.

Globalization and Mobility: International Opportunities

Finally, globalization and increased mobility have made it easier than ever for Irish citizens to emigrate. The rise of remote work, freelancing, and global transportation systems means that it is now possible to work and live in other countries without sacrificing one’s career or personal life. As a result, many Irish citizens are taking advantage of these opportunities to seek out better lifestyles and economic prospects abroad.

Conclusion: Impact of Emigration on Irish Society

The emigration of Irish citizens has significant implications for the country’s society and economy. Brain drain, or the loss of highly skilled workers, can lead to a shortage of talent in key industries and negatively impact the country’s economic growth. Additionally, the loss of young people and families can lead to a demographic imbalance and strain on social services. It is important for Irish policymakers to address the underlying factors contributing to emigration and work to create a more stable and attractive environment for young people and families.

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Laurie Baratti

Laurie Baratti, a renowned San Diego journalist, has contributed to respected publications like TravelAge West, SPACE, Modern Home + Living, Montage, and Sandals Life. She's a passionate travel writer, constantly exploring beyond California. Besides her writing, Laurie is an avid equestrian and dedicated pet owner. She's a strong advocate for the Oxford comma, appreciating the richness of language.

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