herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Quarter of babies now born to non-Irish

ONE-in-four children born here in 2012 was to non-national mothers.

The mothers hailed mostly from EU accession states, Asia and Africa, a new study on Ireland's children of immigrants reveals.

Interestingly, the team found that while English was the most commonly spoken language in their homes - even when neither parent was Irish - more than half of the children who had at least one parent from the EU accession states didn't speak English.

The most commonly spoken languages in those homes were Polish (66pc), Lithuanian (17pc), Russian (9pc) and Romanian (5pc).

The findings are included in the first-ever study of the children of migrant parents here entitled 'New Irish Families: A profile of Second Generation Children and their Families' by researchers at Trinity College.

The study also found that mothers born outside of Ireland tended to be much more educated than their Irish counterparts.

Sixty percent of non-Irish mothers born elsewhere in the EU - excluding the UK - had attained a third-level degree or higher, while close to half (46pc) of Asian mothers had a third-level degree compared to just 28pc of Irish mothers.

Yet despite their education, families with at least one parent from the EU accession states, Asia or Africa, were found to be at greater risk of poverty and with lower household incomes and jobs predominantly in semi-skilled or unskilled sectors.

Conversely, families with at least one parent from established EU member states were found to be the most socio-economically advanced group.

The study, led by Trinity College sociologist Antje Roder, was conducted in order to gauge the impact of the mass influx of migrants over the past decade on Irish society in years to come.

"Very little is known about (migrant) children born and raised in Ireland whose families will face different challenges to those that moved here with their foreign-born children," the report states.

hnews@herald.ie

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