Preliminary data from Census 2016
shows that net migration from Donegal was - 6,731 since 2011.
A TD has warned that
the drop in Donegal's population could have "serious
implications" for the future of the county.
Deputy Thomas Pringle was responding to Census 2016
figures released yesterday showing that Donegal has
lost the equivalent of a town's population in the
last five years.
The figures show that net migration (the movement of
persons into and out of Donegal) was -6,731 people.
Donegal's population now stands at 158,755.
The new Census figures
also show that Donegal has a total of 23,899 vacant
dwellings including holiday homes (vacancy rate of
Meanwhile, Ireland's population grew nationally by
almost 170,000 (3.7%) with the highest percentage
increase recorded in Co Meath (5.9%).
Deputy Pringle said: “We always knew emigration was
going to be high in the area, but having the highest
population loss in the country could have serious
implications for Donegal.
"The social consequence must also be dealt with as
many of the people who left were young people forced
to leave in search of work. This has been
devastating for Donegal communities, particularly in
more rural areas. Coupled with an ageing population,
youth emigration will devastate communities even
further unless the Government acts now.”
The Killybegs-based Independent TD said Government
policy needed to focus on Donegal's peripherality as
well as address "years of under-investment that have
led to high rates of emigration".
"That means investment in our schools,
infrastructure and in targeted jobs policies which
create sustainable, local jobs in our communities.
We’re not seeing this at the moment," he added.