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British and Irish Diaspora’s… August 19, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Thought this was fascinating, the way in which the respective diaspora’s are treated on wiki. For Britain it is contemporary British citizens living abroad. In the case of Ireland it is populations of Irish heritage. Both raise interesting facts. For example the sheer number of those of Irish heritage in Argentina is astounding – a good million. Even the number of those in the US, 33 million who can claim Irish heritage is a massive number. And proportionately it is about the same in the UK, 10% or so (or 14 million in the latter case). Which makes it a bit frustrating given that the comparison on the British diaspora page is with current residents here – just shy of 300,000 in the RoI.

Spain, it has to be noted, is enormously popular with the British. Three quarters of a million live there, more than the US, and a bit over half of the number in Australia. Indeed I was a bit surprised that Canada and the US have similar numbers of British citizens in them. I love it when we get to the 100s. There’s a small crew in Albania and for some reason this also surprised me, Cuba.

And what of the places with next to no British. Benin. Burkina Faso. Chad. Or closer to home Belarus or Armenia.

Granted these are official or semi-official estimates.


1. An Sionnach Fionn - August 19, 2016

The manner in which the Wikipedia entry for Britain plays fast and loose with the definitions of “British” in its estimates/guesstimates is interesting. Do Scotch-Irish-Americans, Irish-Australians, Irish-Chileans and Irish-Argentinians count as “British”?


WorldbyStorm - August 19, 2016

Great point.


lamentreat - August 20, 2016

Tbh, I think the Irish diaspora page is playing a whole lot faster and looser with the numbers.

Citing bogus, or at best meaninglessly vague, statistics like “10% of the U.S. population self-identifies as of Irish heritage (33 million)” says very little about the real role of Ireland, Irish culture etc. in the United States (where that culture is these days of comparatively little importance, apart from the cringe-worthy annual mid-March flourish).

But it does say a whole lot about the enduring, and slightly desperate, Irish yearning to feel important and loved as a people.


2. sonofstan - August 19, 2016

“And proportionately it is about the same in the UK, 10% or so (or 14 million in the latter case)”

Eh? the UK population is about 63m or so – so 14m would be over 20%.
Taking the more conservative way of estimating the size of a diaspora – those born in one state resident elsewhere, which I think makes more sense in the long run – there’s supposed to 450k Irish citizens here in Britain (of whom some must be those born in the occupied 6 but using Irish passports?)

On the general point, emigration is simply not as pyschologically present to the English public consciousness as in Ireland, even if substantial numbers of Brits do live and/ or work abroad. There is no anxiety here about losing population, if anything the opposite, not just with regard to emigration, but the idea that England is ‘crowded’ is a commonplace. (easy enough to believe at Oxford Circus in rush hour). Nor is there the same feeling about the ‘best and brightest’ going – because, since by definition, being the best in England is the best thing to be, succeeding elsewhere is still tinged with failure. There is no equivalent to the pride in businesspeople making it big in the US for instance; and while occasionally there will be a bit of trumpet blowing for Brit success at the Oscars or the Grammys, it’s taken as their due, and a sign that the yanks are recognising quality for once.


sonofstan - August 19, 2016

Although in a earlier generation, 50s and 60s, the relatively large scale exodus to Australia was fueled by a ‘no future; feeling about Britain. Odd example perhaps, but the Gibb Brothers, later the BeeGees, were living in fairly abject sounding poverty in Manchester before being whisked off to Oz – and, ithink similarly the Young tribe of Easybeats/ Ac/ Dc fame?

Liked by 3 people

WorldbyStorm - August 19, 2016

You’re right, my math is way out. I blame wiki.


3. Jim Monaghan - August 19, 2016

My guess is that the figures for Spain and indeed the rest of the EU are underestimates. Not everyone registers. And here and the entity near us, well my partner was born in London to Waterford parents, is she an immigrant? I would guess there is much of that.


Dr. Nightdub - August 19, 2016

I may have mentioned this before:
– My grandparents on my da’s side left Belfast and Clare for Australia
– My parents left Belfast and Cork for England
– My parents, brother and I left Belfast for Dublin
– My brother left Dublin for England
I’m not suggesting the general diaspora is as circular as this, but I still think we nearly deserve our own lane at passport control.

Liked by 1 person

4. libby - August 20, 2016

Interesting. In Australia the caucasian population is described every day in the media as primarly ‘Anglo-Celtic’. Ive always felt that they are ashamed as the anglophiles that they are to say Anglo-Irish


WorldbyStorm - August 20, 2016

Wow, that I did not know. Its kind of telling isnt it?


5. libby - August 21, 2016

With the decline of the Catholic church in Australia, it takes about one generation for the Irish to disappear in to the Australian melting pot. The Celtic side of Anglo Celtic is not discussed as to what if anything it might mean. The media and both sides of politics are royalist. A huge portion of the programs on the ABC are from the BBC. Funnily the Aboriginal station NITV were showing Corp & Anam last year. I was channel surfing and nearly choked on my meat pie and Fosters when I heard thevfew words as gaeilge


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