Northern Ireland

Migration to Northern Ireland hits 10-year peak

Belfast Image copyright Maciej Grabowicz
Image caption The number of people coming to live in Northern Ireland in 2018 was 23,600, while 19,400 people left

Net migration to Northern Ireland reached its highest level in 10 years in 2018, official estimates suggest.

The number of people coming to live in Northern Ireland was 23,600, while 19,400 people left, resulting in a net gain of 4,100.

It is the fifth year in a row in which the migrant population has increased.

During NI's economic boom years, annual net immigration peaked at almost 11,000. It then declined sharply during the recession.

Several years of net emigration followed.

The NI Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra), which compiles the figures, said there was also positive "natural change" of 6,700 people (23,100 births minus 16,400 deaths).

That means the overall increase in population was 10,800 people, taking the estimated total to 1.882m.

Left the UK

Belfast and the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon districts had the highest level of net international inward migration.

Derry City and the Causeway Coast were the only council districts to experience net outflows of international migrants.

Image copyright DieterMeyrl
Image caption The Causeway Coast area actually experienced a net outflow of international migrants

Figures for the whole of the UK suggest that more EU citizens from central and eastern Europe left the UK than arrived last year.

It estimated that 7,000 more people from eight countries, including Poland, left the UK than arrived in the year to March 2019.

Overall, EU immigration fell to its lowest level since 2013.

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