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Irish emigration at a record high

Ireland, formerly one of the star economies of the EU, is now facing an emigration crisis of historic proportions, according to a new report.

The study by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) found that 60,000 Irish people emigrated abroad in the 12 months leading up to April of 2010. Another 40,000 are expected to emigrate in the next 12 months.

Unemployment in Ireland is the third highest in Europe, at 13.5 percent, which has resulted in many of it's citizens trying to find work abroad. Many are leaving for countries such as Australia, the UK, the United States, Canada, and even Germany.

The last time that so many people left Ireland was in 1989 when 44,000 people left.

Young people are the most affected by high unemployment. The largest age group leaving Ireland are working age people under 25.

"The weakness in the labour market for younger people has given rise to the return of emigration and our forecasts envisage a continuation of this," ESRI said in the report.

According to the report, Irish nationals mainly emigrated to six countries:

  • 24,000 - Austrlia
  • 11,000 - UK
  • 4,444 - New Zealand
  • 3,462 - Canada
  • 1,700 - United States
  • 600 - Germany