Belfast Telegraph

Population ties binding Britain and Republic if Ireland revealed as Brexit looms


The number of Republic-born people in Britain is nearly 100,000 higher than the Republic's British-born population, official analysis shows.

On average, 375,900 people born in the Republic were living in Britain from January 2013 to December 2015, compared with 277,200 British-born people in the Republic in 2016.

The study - the latest in a series of publications looking at cross-border movements in the context of the Brexit negotiations - reveals differences in the age profiles of the two communities.

More than three-quarters (79%) of the people born in the Britain and living in the Republic were estimated to be 15 to 64 years old, compared with 55% of those who were born in the Republic and resident in Britain.

Of the Republic-born population living in Britain, two in five (42%) were aged 65 years and over, compared with 10% of the British-born population in the Republic. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report also details how:

  • There are an estimated 110 million border crossings annually between the Republic and Northern Ireland for reasons including work, business, trade, education, health and family.
  • There were 3.7 million visits from Britain to the Republic last year, with seeing friends or relatives the most common reason for making the trip, followed by holidays.
  • In February 2017, of all British State pensions received by residents living in the European Union (excluding Britain), 28% were received by those living in the Republic.
  • British-born people make up one in eight workers in "culture, media and sports occupations" in the Republic.
  • For Republic-born residents living in Britain, one in three works in a professional occupation, with the most common professions being teaching and education, nursing and midwifery, and IT and telecommunication.

Emma Rourke, ONS director of public policy analysis, said she believed the data will prove "indispensable" as the negotiations over Britain leaving the EU develop.

"The complex and historic relationship between the UK and Ireland is one of the most challenging areas facing the UK and the EU as Brexit negotiations proceed," she said.

"The sort of analysis we have published today with our colleagues in the Irish and Northern Ireland statistical agencies is going to be indispensable as these negotiations develop.

"It will be more important than ever to have clear and comprehensive data on how and where citizens of our two countries are living and working across borders."

Belfast Telegraph

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