By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — Ireland’s population has reached 3.79 million — the highest in 120 years — as the Celtic Tiger jobs boom attracts record numbers of immigrants.
Figure released by the Central Statistics Office this week show the population increased by 42,300 in the year to April.
A government statement said that 43 percent of the immigrants were Irish nationals.
"This clearly demonstrates that Irish people who were forced to emigrate in earlier decades are now benefiting from our economic success by fulfilling their wish to live and work in their country of birth," the statement said.
The CSO figures show there were just 74,900 unemployed in the second quarter of the year, a fall of 22,000 on the corresponding period in 1999.
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The national unemployment rate is down to 4.3 percent — the lowest since records began — compared to the EU average of 8.5 percent.
The lowest regional unemployment rate is just 3.4 percent in the Dublin area. The border region has the highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, followed by the Midlands at 5.5 percent.
Full-time jobs increased by 65,500 in the year to reach 1,390,100 and part-time employment grew by 14,1000 to 280,600.
Almost 60 percent of people aged over 15 are now working. The greatest growth being in construction, financial and other business services.
The number of women working has increased to 47.2 percent from 46 percent last year and 44 percent in 1998.