CSO 2023: ‘We lost about 900 Irish people to America and Australia’ 

“I know a lot of people my age leaving."
Ellen Kenny
Ellen Kenny

15.15 3 Jan 2024

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CSO 2023: ‘We lost about 900 I...

CSO 2023: ‘We lost about 900 Irish people to America and Australia’ 

Ellen Kenny
Ellen Kenny

15.15 3 Jan 2024

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While emigration was high in 2023, on balance the country lost 900 Irish people to emigration, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). 

The CSO’s “Year in Numbers” was released today, offering information on the biggest changes in Ireland in the past year. 

Newstalk and TodayFM reporter Alex Rowley told Lunchtime Live emigration was unsurprisingly high. 


Net emigration in 2023 was 64,000, with 30,500 of them being Irish. 

“Some of them don’t see a life for themselves here and they’re going to Australia and America,” Alex said. 

“I know a lot of people my age leaving... and people in the next few years when they get their degree will also leave.” 

Alex also pointed out, however, that 29,600 immigrated back to Ireland last year, according to the CSO

“It nearly balances out,” he said. “We lost about 900 Irish people to the likes of Australia and America.” 

Weekly earnings

Alex noted one surprising figure was weekly earnings. 

In the third quarter of 2023, average weekly earnings were up to €907.72. 

“It’s a lot higher than I would have expected,” Alex said. 

“That’s up 33% compared to 2013 – obviously we’re looking back at a year of austerity - €682.99.” 

Alex also noted the current employment rate is 74.2% in the second quarter – the highest figure since the CSO began recording it 25 years ago. 

Highest-paying jobs

The CSO also revealed the highest paying jobs, which will surprise no one. 

“We’re always trying to get people to go to the jobs where there are shortages but if you want the best paying jobs go to information and communication,” Alex said. 

“In plain language, that’s IT.” 

Other high-paying jobs according to the CSO include insurance, real estate and working in finance such as accounting. 

Electric vehicles

The CSO also found a sharp increase in the sale of electric vehicles in 2023. 

“Almost half (45%) of all new private cars registered were either electric, plug-in hybrid, or hybrid,” Alex said. 

“It's a serious shift. 

“In June the most popular car was a Tesla, 833 bought. 

“Everybody who buys one of these must have loads of money because they aren’t cheap to buy or switch over to.” 

Alex also noted the purchase of diesel cars fell to 27% in 2023, compared to 54% in 2018 CSO findings.

Baby names of the CSO

As well as earning wages and buying cars, people are also naming babies – although the CSO found they're not naming their children anything new. 

“Jack is the most popular baby name for the sixth year in a row,” Alex said. 

Lunchtime Live host Andrea Gilligan said Jack was a “solid name”, but she can’t believe it’s so popular. 

“You might hear Jack as a Taoiseach or President, but would you not think for six consecutive years, would you not name them something else?” she asked. 

Emily also returned to the most popular girl’s name according to the CSO, after reigning from 2011 to 2019. 

Alex noted the popularity of baby names was measured based on the end of 2022, although the 2023 rates will also be announced this year. 

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