Ireland’s youth don’t plan to remain in Ireland despite rising job opportunities

Roisin Maguire

Ireland has already faced the majority of its youth emigrating during the recession but this is still happening even during another economic boom.

Currently rent is much higher than it was during the Celtic Tiger and the lack of affordable housing is increasing. Sometimes young people are left with no choice but to leave their own country for a better living.

Emigration has significantly slowed since the recession, however, there are still a large number of reasons why Ireland is still no country for young people.

According to the Central Statistics Office, an estimated 54,300 people emigrated Ireland in 2018, the majority being young people. While some leave for adventure, many leave for better quality of life, to be able to afford a mortgage and to afford health care.

Grad Ireland surveyed students in October of 2018 and it indicated that students are aware that job opportunities have improved, however 35 per cent of students said they believe they will find it difficult to find a job after they complete their undergraduate degree.

This worry about not finding a job is then made worse by the cost of living in Ireland. According to a report by, the average rent in Dublin City Centre is around 2,046 and living in South Dublin costs a whopping 2,190. said that rent in every part of the country is the highest it has ever been.

A government report released in July of 2018 said that the housing crisis is likely to continue into the foreseeable future and that housing was one of the biggest problems challenging the country.

After a poll with 16 people was conducted via social media, 79 per cent of people said they do not plan to live in Ireland after they finish college, and 93 per cent of people said that this was because of the lack of affordable housing as opposed to the lack of jobs. 100 per cent of people involved said that free healthcare would entice them to move to a different country.

Speaking to Nicole Mullan, a student in National University of Galway, she said: “job opportunities aren’t as bad as they were during the recession so now my worry is that I will be renting a tiny single bed in the city centre if I want to work in Dublin.” She also said that the majority of the people in her arts course plan to live in Scotland or Canada and that some are already convinced that they will be able to afford housing in these countries.

It seems that the majority of young people in Ireland are not concerned about job prospects but more so not being able to afford a living. A report from the Department of Housing in March showed that 10,300 people were homeless in Ireland with more and more working families becoming homeless every day due to the rising rents.

Roisin Maguire

Image Credit: Tim Gouw