Official Irish government figures show emigration has risen and joblessness has fallen.
Over 50,000 Irish citizens emigrated from Ireland in the year to April 2013, according to figures published by the country’s Central Statistics Office (CSO).
A total of 89,000 people left Ireland in that period, the figures show.
Some 15,400 people emigrated to Australia in this period, while almost one in four – or 21,900 people – went to neighbouring Britain.
Yesterday’s release for the first time gave estimates of migration to and from Australia and Canada as individual countries of origin and destination.
Previous releases grouped these countries under a rest of world category.
More than 40,000 of those leaving the country were under the age of 24, according to the figures. Around the same number were aged between 25 and 44.
Of the 55,900 new arrivals in Ireland, almost 30 per cent were returning emigrants, alongside 4,900 from Britain.
Another 7,400 came from western Europe and 10,900 arrived from eastern Europe, as well as Cyprus and Malta. Just over 17,000 new immigrants were from the “rest of the world” as categorised by the CSO.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has admitted the emigration figures are a cause for concern.
“One of the things that we are trying to do is to ensure that we create employment and attract investment so that as many of those people as possible will have an opportunity of coming back and working in this country,” he insisted.
The figures were released on the same day as others showing Ireland’s jobless rate has fallen slightly to 13.7 per cent.The country’s jobless total fell by 22,000 in the year to the end of June, with the jobless total now at 300,700.
There has also been an improvement in the number of people on the dole for a year or more, with the long-term unemployment rate down from 9.2 per cent to 8.1 per cent over the same period.
Mr Gilmore said the jobless figures showed that there is “some economic improvement” in Ireland.
“What we have to do is we have to work to attract the investment, to create the jobs, to provide the opportunities for the people who remain here but also for the many who have left and who may wish to return and work in Ireland,” he said.