Irish welfare data show Latvians top 25,000

While official census figures show about 14,000 people from Latvia now living in Ireland, new Ministry of Welfare data put the number at more than 25,000.

From May 2004, when Latvia joined the European Union, through the end of June 2007, a total of 25,471 people from Latvia have obtained Personal Public Service Numbers, according to the welfare ministry’s Department of Social and Family Affairs. The numbers are used in transactions between individuals and the government.

Residents of Poland who are now in Ireland have been the most active in obtaining their PPS numbers, with a total of 223,233. They are followed by Lithuanians, who number 51,813. Estonians total 5,730.

Through the first half of this year, 2,457 people from Latvia have obtained PPS numbers, an average of almost 410 per month. Through the first half of 2006, a total of 4,364 had obtained the numbers, or an average of about 727 per month. From January through June of 2005, a total of 4,966 people from Latvia registered for PPS numbers, an average of nearly 828 per month.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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