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New Study Examines the Integration of Immigrants in Irish society
Unemployment Gap remains worrying, concerns about poverty among some immigrants, improvements in citizenship process, English learning supports badly needed, and sports participation worryingly low.
A range of indicators are used in this year’s Annual Monitoring Report on Integration, launched today (5/6/12) to measure immigrant inclusion in Irish society.
Killian Forde, CEO of The Integration Centre, said “The statistics show that areas of major concern involve employment, poverty, sport and long-term status.”
A new indicator this year is in the area of sport.
“Internationally sport is a telling indicator of migrant integration. Whilst many would hesitate to call a lack of participation in sport a serious social problem, it does flag a number of concerns for the future.”
“If immigrants are not participating in sport because they feel marginalised and excluded, then Irish society is far more segregated than many would care to believe.”
“Community identity is intrinsically linked to sport, and national pride is never more evident than during competition. If immigrants feel excluded from this sphere, not only is Ireland losing out on possible talent, but shared cultural identities.”
Keynote speaker at the launch of the report, Lord Mayor of Dublin Andrew Montague said “I welcome the launch of this important report, which provides us with a deeper understanding of integration in Dublin and Ireland. The detailed evidence provided in this report will help policy makers to make better decisions.”
• Irish/Non-Irish: Between the start of 2008 and 2011, total employment among non-Irish nationals fell by 40 per cent: total employment among Irish nationals fell by 10 per cent in the same period.
• Irish/Non-Irish: At the start of 2011 the unemployment rate was 18% among non-Irish nationals, compared to just under 14% for Irish nationals.
• Irish/Non-EU: The consistent poverty rate among Non-EU nationals, at almost 10%, is higher than among Irish nationals (just over 5%), and the gap between Irish and non-EU nationals has widened between 2008 and 2009. Consistent poverty is defined as a combination of having a low income and lacking two basic items such as food, clothes or home heating.
• Irish/Non-EU: Participation in sport is significantly lower among non-EU nationals than Irish nationals, using data from the Irish Sports Monitors from 2007-2009. This is true of both active participation in sport, but the gap is particularly large for social participation in sport (volunteering, club membership and attendance at games).
• Almost 25,000 adult immigrants received citizenship between 2005 and 2010, representing an estimated 16% of the non-European Economic Association (EEA) population at end 2010.
• Just over 11,000 adult immigrants received long-term residency between 2005 and 2010, an estimated 7% of the non-EEA adult population at end 2010.
Special Theme in the 2011 Monitor: Immigrant Children in Irish Schools
• The children of immigrants are, for the most part, highly motivated students with more positive attitudes to school than their Irish peers. Immigrant mothers have very high educational aspirations for their children.
• Pupils from non-English speaking immigrant backgrounds tend to perform worse in English reading than their Irish peers, though not in Maths.
• Pupils from English-speaking immigrant backgrounds do not differ from their Irish peers in either English reading or Maths scores.
• Functional literacy in English is much lower among non-English speaking immigrant mothers than Irish mothers, and they (and their spouses) are less likely to provide help with homework than Irish parents.
Commenting on these findings, report author Dr Frances McGinnity said “These findings show that overall non-Irish nationals have been harder hit by the current recession than Irish nationals – in terms of both employment and unemployment. Regarding education, the fact that nine-year-olds from non-English speaking backgrounds perform worse in English reading highlights the importance of English language support for them and their parents, to build on their positive attitudes and high parental aspirations."
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