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Only 23% of new PPS numbers were for Irish people in 2022, to November

Radical change

The radical demographic change happening in the country is underlined by the fact that just 22.6% of the new PPS numbers to the end of November were issued to Irish nationals.

The number of PPS numbers issued to people from other EU countries and from countries outside of the EU both outnumber those to Irish nationals.

65,607 PPS numbers were issued to EU citizens and over 90,000 to people from countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America in the period to the end of November 2022.

2022 saw the largest number of new Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers issued since 2007 at the height of the Celtic Tiger boom.

The number of PPS numbers being issued is reaching heights last seen at a time when tens of thousands of mainly construction workers came to work here following the accession of the former socialist countries in central and eastern Europe.

In 2007, people from Poland were issued with almost 80,000 PPS numbers for example.

The number of new PPS numbers issued in Ireland to the end of November last year was 286,168, so given a monthly average of over 25,000 it is likely that the final figure for the year was even greater than the 305,610 issues in 2007.

It’s an interesting insight into the changing demographics of the country is that just 5,088 of the new issues in 2022 went to Polish nationals.

The starkest figure, however, to jump out from a comparison between 2007 and 2022 is the sharp fall in the number of new PPS numbers issued to Irish nationals.

That has fallen from 87,559 to just 64,721 last year. The vast majority of these are issued to newborn babies so much of the drop is accounted for by our steadily declining birth rate.

The birth rate here currently stands at 11.337 per 100,000 of the population compared to 23.198 in 1973. This obviously has huge implications for the demographics of the island of Ireland as a whole.

It is a radical departure to see just 22.6% of the new PPS numbers to the end of November being issued to Irish nationals.

2022, of course, saw a large influx of people from Ukraine – and PPS numbers were issued to 65,350 Ukrainians.

However, even when the Ukrainians are excluded, the proportion of PPS issues to Irish people only comes to 29% of the total. That compares to 40.6% in 2021 and 48% in 2020.

Both of those two years represented anomalies due to the restrictions on travel that were put in place due to the Covid panic. The overall trend is indicated by the fact that the proportion of issues to Irish people has steadily declined from 55% in 2010 and the last pre Covid year of 2019 had seen that fall dramatically to 36%.

As noted above, significantly more PPS numbers were issued to people from countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, than to Irish people – with 90,000 going to that category in the period in contrast to just over 64,000 to the Irish.

In addition, 65,607 PPS numbers were issued to EU citizens.

It is claimed that these represent the demand for labour that cannot be met in Ireland and that the numbers reflect the numbers of people who come to work. However, the numbers of people coming to live here are much higher than those who come to work. In that period, for example, just 39,995 work permits were issued to people from outside of the EU and EEA.

Some of that gap between those who come to work and those who are state dependents in one form or another is accounted for by asylum seekers although the number of PPS numbers issued to people from countries that are genuinely experiencing war and other emergencies is, as we have demonstrated on several occasion, dwarfed by the numbers of those claiming asylum from countries with no such crises.

That is reflected for example by the fact that while persons claiming to be of Algerian nationality were issued with 1,269 PPS numbers to the end of November last, just 35 of them came here as part of the work permit scheme. The same applies to Georgia, which is another country that features both in the high number of dubious applications for “protection” and in the numbers being moved into unsuitable accommodation.

Of 2,237 Georgians who were issued with PPS numbers, a mere 16 were granted work permits. Which makes a mockery even of the default argument that “oh, even if they are not fleeing war or homophobic death squads, they want to work.” Well, the evidence suggests that the vast majority of Georgians and Algerians who come here do not want to work, because if they did want to work then they could apply for the large range of jobs which Irish-based companies advertise around the world.

There is no doubting, however, the fact that the nature of the Irish economy is the main factor creating the dynamics that is leading to the radical demographic changes we are seeing.  They, in turn, are leading to pressures on the demand for housing with a consequent impact on rents in particular. As reported elsewhere, this is something that appears to be influencing a once-again growing number of younger Irish people to emigrate.

Viewed in purely economic terms, people might think that this is either a good thing or inevitable, or both.  Nothing is inevitable. Nor is the current structure of the Irish economy set in stone, and many other states such as those in east Asia like South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan have valued social and cultural integrity and indeed sustainability above the bottom line of corporations. They have managed to be both economically successful and to maintain that integrity.

Such notions have long since been abandoned here by the Irish elite, and those who claim to represent some sort of alternative to the current scenario. Part of that evidently is to continue on a path that may be leading to the Irish people, as that concept has generally been understood for the past millennia, to become within the not too distant future, a minority of the people living on the island of Ireland. Try selling that to the Japanese or the Koreans…

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