Over 25% of 2012 Births from Non-Nationals

Various posts this morning in the media on foot of the ESRI’s analysis on 2012 births in Ireland


Full report here


A stat that I found amazing from the point of view of property is on page 35 and 36

Of the 71,705 births in 2012, 54,464 were from an ‘Irish’ mother - i.e. 25% of all births are from non-nationals
The figure is even more extreme on the next page when looked at from an ‘Irish’ father however there are lots of n/a under Nationality

From a country management perspective, it shows that Europe’s most attractive social welfare programme is still pulling them in (it also shows how hopeless the job of managing our Healthcare system is under this influx - we will have constant deficits here and lots of creative accounting needed to meet out Trokia targets)

… From a property perspective however, it shows that there should be a continual demand - at least at the lower end of the ladder - from new arrivals to Ireland ?

PS I fairness having read this again, I should note that my experience of the vast (vast) bulk of non-nationals coming to Ireland is that they work hard and somtimes for little (i.e we are lucky to have them). When I think of how my generation in England in the 1970s and 1980s to also worked hard and for little but to also claim multiple ‘doles’ where possible, we have little to complain about. I do think that our health and education infrastructure is not set up to cope with this.

I’m not so sure. I think a lot of births to “non nationals” are likely to be from the previous wave of migrants who have settled here.


I’m not sure how you reach that conclusion. The expensive users of a healthcare system are normally the older cohort rather than the younger one. The younger productive members of society generally fund the healthcare of the retirees. Are there any statistics that show immigrants to Ireland buck this general pattern in terms of using more health resources than other members of society?

There seems to be some mythology about intra-EEA migrants’ rights to social welfare. Unless you’re prepared to work for your first year, it’s not as much of a ‘pull factor’ as some people appear to believe.

I have no data from RoI but in Great Britain Poles tend to have 2.5 children vs 1.3 in Poland. I would suspect similar situation in Ireland. There are following reasons in my opinion:

  • part time or flexible time job opportunities
  • cost of having children is low, toy, clothes and nappies tend to be cheaper in Ireland, which means relatively they are super cheap
  • child benefit is significant help, also if you are on welfare then having children entitles to more support
  • Ireland is child friendly, many places have facilities for changing nappies, people are not mean towards parents
  • free creche service (exists only in theory in Poland) and early school start
  • massive housing units

From a cursory read of the report, it seems more of the chickens of the bubble years are coming home to roost.

While Ireland still has a reasonable birth rate, the fall out of the property madness; the fiscal issues, high unemployment, negative equity, large mortgages leading to a perceived bleak outlook and resultant emigration especially as these affect the key twenty- and thirty- something cohorts (they’re the potential FTB’s and family home buyers in the market as well as being at their most fertile) seems to be taking the momentum out of the blip in population growth.

If the trend were to continue, then over the long term (20 years+, or from a market perspective for those thinking interest only on a BTL investment, about the time you’d be experting to sell to cover the principle) there may not be a massive surge on the demand side. Certainly the existing demographics suggest that in the short to medium term there’s not likely to be an increase in demand, unless it comes from migrants … and they don’t tend to have either the disposition or income buy.

Blue Horseshoe

At least we higher professional non irish mothers are increasing the national breastfeeding rates (page 78 and page 80).

How many children were born last year to irish parents overseas?

There are a lot more important questions arising from the study than just nationality. Why are there fewer spontaneous deliveries and more c sections as stated on page 22 (the book I’m reading at the moment suggests that our western diet is responsible for the medicalisatin of birth as we aren’t consuming the vitamins and nutrients required to be healthy)? How come 96.6% of mothers having a home birth breastfed (page 131) as opposed to 47% in Ireland as a whole? These points significantly increase the cost of the maternity and health systems in Ireland.

I came here for your women, not your welfare. Well, one woman. So far.

I’ve been struck recently by the number of young non-nationals I’ve met who have either bought in the last few years or are saving madly in order to buy.
One buyer a multiracial couple in early 30s bought in Monkstown - 2 kids now - no plans to ever move from Ireland
Another a late 20s highly educated single Googler from a southern european country has bought a Grand Canal 2 bed apartment - wants to put down roots here.

Among those looking are a French single father with a junior professional job here. He moved back to France but couldn’t settle so he’s renting here with his child and has started to look to buy - a small inheritance will help

A moldovan couple not long here - earning minimum wage - working all the hours in the day to buy a house - never want to go home.

I don’t know what it means for the house or job market but it certainly surprised me how keen they all are to buy. Its not just an Irish thing.

Why are Irish mothers ‘aging’? Seems quite obvious to me. It’s just that all the young wans are leaving and the average is getting skewed.


And here’s the number of females aged 18-32 as a percentage of the total female population…


Lies, damned lies and statistics.

The cost of having children in Ireland is lower than in Poland!!! I’m very surprised at reading that…have you any back-up for this? (nappies, toys and clothes certainly are’nt cheap here).
And tell me more about the free creche service…I’ve a few young 'uns I’d like to put in for that :angry:

Nappies, toys, clothes are roughly the same price, but salaries are maybe a quarter or a third of what you can earn in Ireland, so they feel much more expensive. Food is cheaper, but not that much. No child benefit, some tax credits only.
There are “free” (you do pay a nominal fee) creches provided by the state, but places are limited so there’s a lottery type of thing going on every year. Unless you’re single and employed, as it bumps you up to the top of the list - some people don’t marry to avail of these places. Other than that, you pay for private childcare; it’s cheaper in absolute terms but not in relation to earnings. School doesn’t start until 6 years of age.

Lots of Polish couples I know are settling here (and working); we are one of them. 25% does not surprise me at all as immigrants in Ireland are what, 15-18% of population? And we tend to be of childbearing age.

I think that’s it.

In the 2011 census, 50% of Polish people living in Ireland were 25 - 34 years old - prime childbearing age, as you’re saying (table 4, cso.ie/en/media/csoie/census … ndices.pdf).

Speaking about the cost of having children, if you look at the European statistics the countries where both parents can combine working with having children and still have a decent life (Scandinavia and France for example) tend to come out on top. Ireland has long been an outlier there considering the crazy cost of childcare, but that seems to be changing.

OECD data on birth rates here: oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/fact … =text/html

Today Tesco prices in Ireland vs Tesco prices in Poland at today exachange rate:
Huggies Little Swimmers Size 5-6 11 Pack E5.32 E6.93
Cheapest size 5 nappy per single E0.15 E0.16

Now argos vs cheapest shop in Poland
Barbie Mariposa Y6372 E14.39 E20.80
Lego 60022 E60.29 E70.54

Mothercare here and there:
Trenton Mira complete travel system E349.99 E430.17
3 sleep suits for new board E15 E23.67

PPP according to OECD is 0.55 so Polish prices are relatively twice as expensive.

Not easy to compare clothes prices, but I’m open to suggestions.

Free creche service (first year): citizensinformation.ie/en/ed … cheme.html
Free creche service (second and third year): Junior & Senior Infants

Edit: added PPP info

3 hours of pre-school a day for school term times is far from a “free creche service” and, in financial terms, of limited benefit to working parents.

Anecdotal :
Recently, I have been often asked by people coincidentally mainly from PIGS countries, how the social welfare in Ireland works, especially for mums with kids.

*2013 up until end of October.

Interesting to compare it to the ‘richer’ countries…

And just for the heck of it here are some more charts. Make of them what you will.





One person can have PPS numbers in more than one country, so the charts do not provide conclusive evidence whether or not within Europe there is Social Welfare Tourism.

Apart from that :

  • PIGS countries issue more PPS numbers due to the fact that these countries are the first landing points of migratory inflows from outside the EU (Italy/Spain from Northern Africa, Greece from Middle East and Asia).
  • Charts on BRIC countries are the effect of growing economies.
  • Other countries (such as Bulgaria or Romania) are slowly moving from a post-communist economic model to an economy based on Western standards (same trend can be seen in previous years in Slovakia, Lithuania and Poland)
  • Other countries in Africa or Asia are flat because they don’t provide social services and there is a net outflow in migration.

Perhaps I should clarify that these charts show the number of PPS numbers issued in Ireland to people from other countries.

They don’t say anything about ‘welfare tourism’ specifically, but they do show that we are attracting migrants from the poorer European countries instead of the richer ones.