Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 13:44 UK

Migration outstripping birth rate

Migrant worker
Since the EU was expanded more people have come to live in NI

The number of people moving to Northern Ireland is having a greater effect on the population figure than the number of births.

Figures from the Statistics and Research Agency showed more than 1.75m people were living in NI in June 2007.

The population had grown by almost 18,000 people in the previous 12 months.

Migration had added almost 10,000 residents to the NI population in each of the last two years, the agency said.

It estimated that from 2004-2007, the number of people coming into NI exceeded the number leaving by 26,000.

The expansion of the EU was the main source of the increased flow of migrants.

Polish migrants were the largest group from the new EU states, accounting for about 60% from those countries.

Immigration flows around areas such as Botanic in Belfast, Jordanstown in Newtownabbey and Strand in Londonderry are driven by students, but work is the main reason given by people for coming to Northern Ireland.

The County Tyrone town of Dungannon has seen some large increases in migrant workers in recent years.

The report said that about 3,500 primary school children in NI had a language other than English as their first language, about 2% of the primary school population.

In Dungannon, 8% of primary school children did not have English as a first language in 2007.

And births in the town to mothers born outside NI accounted for 18%, compared to an NI figure of 8%.

EU migrants '2% of NI workforce'
30 Apr 08 |  Northern Ireland

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