Polish presence in Ireland strong in Laois finds Census

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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Polish presence in Ireland strong in Laois

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Polish is the single biggest foreign language spoken in Laois while the biggest single nationality other than Irish in Laois hails from Poland.

New figures from Census 2016 show that there were 2,935 Polish speakers living in Laois on Census night 2016. There were 2,721 Polish nationals living in Laois of which 2452 were born in Poland.

Figures published by the Central Statistics Office also reveal that more than 10 per cent of the county's population able to speak a language other than English or Irish.

The latest round of Census data shows that there were 74,626 people of Irish nationality living in Laois in April 2016 when the Census was recorded. Of these 72,275 were born in Ireland.

A total of 3,677 people were born in the UK but less than half of these, 1,531, were British nationals.

Some 666 people were born in Lithuania but 749 declared themselves as Lituanian nationals.

In total, 1,963 people had EU nationality but 1,837 of these were born in an EU country other than Ireland, UK, Poland or Lithuania.

Some 3,255 people were born in other countries but 1,526 of these state that they held a nationality status in a country outside the EU.

Just over 1,000 people did not state their nationality.

The Census showed that 755 people moved to Laois from outside Ireland n the year to Census night in 2016.

Ethnic and cultural background is also recorded. The key findings are as follows:

-  70,212 White Irish

- 780 White Irish Traveller

- 6,949 Other White

- 1,613 Black or Black Irish

- 1,192 Asian or Asian Irish 

- 1,001 Other 

- 2,415 Not stated

A total of 9,897 people said the were speakers of foreign language. The breakdown is: 2,2935 spoke Polish, French 858, Lithuanian, 669, other 5,435.

Data is also published on the ability of foreign language speakers. Some 283 of these could not speak English at all while 5,081 spoke English very well. A further 2,855 people said the could speak English well but 1,384 responded 'not well' when asked about their ability in English.

The total population of Laois in April 2016 was 84,162.