Ireland’s Central Statistics Office yesterday released figures showing an extraordinary rate of emigration — driven by the financial crisis. Almost 400,000 people have left Ireland since 2008. In the 12-month period from April 2012 to April 2013, one person was leaving the country to live abroad every six minutes. Most are going to the UK, Australia and Canada in search of work. A lot of Irish have returned home during the past five years as well — about 277,000 of them. That translates into a net out-migration of about 120,000.
For a country of about 4.5 million people, this means a net loss of 2.5 percent of the population, no? If I’ve got the math right, in the U.S. that rate would mean 7.8million people.