Londonderry is haemorrhaging people as new exodus hits peak

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Londonderry is haemorrhaging more people than anywhere else in Northern Ireland in a new exodus that has reached a fifteen year peak, a top statistician has confirmed.

Dr David Marshall, Director of Sources at the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), revealed more people are leaving the city than coming here.

Most are travelling either down south or to Great BritainBritain or further afield, though some are moving within Northern Ireland.

“The latest migration figures are for the year to the end of June 2014,” Dr Marshall told the Stormont Employment and Learning Committee.

“It also shows that there is more out-migration from places like Derry and Strabane because of economic circumstances, whereas, in places like mid-Ulster, Dungannon, the upturn has meant that in-migration has returned.”

Figures for the year until the middle of 2014, the latest available, show that Londonderry lost twice as many people as Belfast. Lisburn gained more people net, through migration, during the same period.

Londonderry was worst affected in terms of sheer numbers and also in per capita terms.

According to the figures 1,855 moved to Londonderry from other parts of Northern Ireland, but 2,125 left: a loss of 270 people. Most migration, however, involved people travelling to and from further afield with 1,164 coming here from outside NI and 1,494 people heading in the opposite direction: a loss of 330 people.

Of these 671 came from Great Britain, but 806 people left for the same destination: a loss of 135 people. Meanwhile, 493 came in from other parts of the world but 688 left for the rest of the world: a loss of 195 people.

In terms of total migration, 3,019 people came in but 3,619 left: a total a loss of 600 people. That’s more than a third of all people who left home across the whole of Northern Ireland.

This was the third worst seepage of people in 15 years.

Only in the years to the middle of 2011 (a loss of 683 people) and to the middle of 2013 (a loss of 699) did we lose more people.

By comparison the only other places to lose people all suffered less out-migration than Londonderry.

These included: Belfast (-318), Coleraine (-250), Newtownabbey (-212), Down (-207), Antrim (-151), Strabane (-98), Cookstown (-11) and Larne (-1).

Everywhere else gained people: Craigavon (710), Lisburn (531), Ballymena (369), Ards (292), Dungannon (272), Castlereagh (222), Newry and Mourne (195), Magherafelt (187), Ballymoney (144), Armagh (97), Fermanagh (96), North Down (91), Omagh (66), Carrickfergus (62), Banbridge (53), Limavady (16) and Moyle (16).